PRESS RELEASE – The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the Mid America Flight Museum in Mount Pleasant, Texas (MAFM) whereby LSFM has agreed to sell its Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Thunderbird” to MAFM. Mid America has agreed to display Thunderbird at Lone Star’s facility at Houston’s Ellington Airport for several months each year through 2024. Mid America has also agreed to make other aircraft from its collection available for display at LSFM during the same time frame. The agreement marks the beginning of a new relationship between the two aviation museums that holds future benefit for both.
The move of the B-17 later this Spring to Mount Pleasant ensures it will remain in Texas. The continued presence of the B-17 and access to Mid America’s collection of historically significant aircraft enables Lone Star to create new programs and events around the visiting aircraft and promote the mission of both museums. Lone Star President & Chief Executive Officer Doug Owens, Lt. Gen. (ret.) said “While we are sad that Thunderbird will be leaving us, the opportunity with this effort is the promise of a long and great relationship between two Texas flight museum’s that share interests and priorities. We have had the privilege to care for this wonderful B-17and know it is going to a great museum that will do for it just as the many mechanics, volunteers and pilots have done here at LSFM over the last thirty plus years. “
Bob Waltrip, founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Lone Star Flight Museum added, “I bought Thunderbird in 1987 and donated it to Lone Star to be one of the initial aircraft in the museum’s collection. To sell such an iconic part of the museum’s history is a bittersweet occasion. But times change and the museum must change with them. I am excited about the great promise offered by the museum’s relationship with Mid America. Even more, I am excited about the future of our museum and the role it will continue to play in honoring the rich aviation heritage of Texas and inspiring the young people in our community.”
Scott Glover, founder of Mid America Flight Museum also added, “The addition of the B-17 Flying Fortress to the fleet we have in Mount Pleasant is the realization of our long-term goal. We believe this aircraft will be a big draw to an already wonderful collection of historic aircraft, and it allows us to continue our mission to honor the Greatest Generation with this incredible aircraft. We are honored to be the new home of the Thunderbird and look forward to working with Doug and the entire Lone Star Flight Museum team to celebrate aviation and its storied history.”
Separate to the purchase of the B-17, Glover, has donated to LSFM a rare Lockheed Howard 250 Tri- Gear that was designed by Texas Aviation Hall of Fame member, Dee Howard. The Howard 250 will arrive at LSFM’s facility in the Spring of 2021.
About the Mid America Flight Museum
Mid America Flight Museum is dedicated to honoring our veterans, promoting both aviation and education to our youth, and preserving the uniquely individual histories of their aircraft. With more than 60 aircraft, the team at Mid America has a passion for both history and aviation and a mission to keep all of the historic and vintage aircraft flying. Mid America Flight Museum is located at 602 Mike Hall Parkway, Mount Pleasant, Texas. The museum is currently closed to the public. . For details, visit midamericaflightmuseum.com
About the Lone Star Flight Museum
The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) is a 501c3 aviation museum and STEM learning center with a mission to celebrate flight and achievements in Texas aviation as well as educate and engage our youth through science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the 130,000 square foot museum is home to a flying collection of rare and historic commercial, general aviation and military aircraft. Guests can experience the wonder of flight in a warbird ride and get hands-on in the high-tech Aviation Learning Center and Flight Academy. Multiple public and STEM-focused education programs create an unforgettable museum experience for visitors of all ages. Located at Ellington Airport, just 20 minutes from downtown Houston, LSFM is open Thursday- Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday Noon – 5 p.m. Tickets start at $9.95 with senior and military discounts. Memberships are also available. For details, visit lonestarflight.org or call 346-708-2517. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.