ACE PILOT: General Chuck Yeager, center, was a part of the opening ceremonies for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. He is shown with Glenn Wright, left, one of the original proponents of the museum and Lee Raney, who was honored as the founding chairman of the museum during grand opening events.
MATTHEW W. GROSS for GTR Newspapers
Oklahomans and Oklahoma travelers have a new attraction where history is relived and imaginations are inspired for the future. The Tulsa Air and Space Museum opened its new and larger Hangar One Museum as a part of a new Tulsa Museum campus located across the street from the Tulsa Zoo/Mohawk Park entrance. The Sherman and Ellie Smith Hangar One Museum celebrated its grand opening with a week of festivities in mid-November.
Funded with private contributions from many generous Oklahoma individuals, foundations and corporations, Hangar One offers something memorable, inspirational or educational for almost any age from youth to seniors.
The grand opening festivities provided an introduction to Hangar One’s many possibilities. The thousands attending found something different to experience each day including a traveling historic stewardess exhibit, antique military vehicles on outdoor display, a World War II airplane to tour, meeting with actual pilots, airplane mechanics or an astronaut and more.
New historical exhibits include: recreations of Tulsa’s first municipal airport and hangar, a commemorative look at the Douglas Bomber plant in World War II and visits to Tulsa from aviation pioneers such as Wiley Post, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Will Rogers.
Executive Director Katheryn Pennington said part of the fun was having the rare opportunity to experience the opening of a new science museum in Oklahoma.
The new museum campus is adjacent to airport runway 18R. Outside of the airport itself, it is one of the few venues where the public can view aircraft as they taxi, approach or depart the Tulsa International Airport. An Electric Sky Theater/ Planetarium, under construction to the northwest of Hangar One, will also open on the new Museum campus in March, 2006. The planetarium will host fulldome video shows on black holes in space, the search for life, Mars and more. There is only one other theater of its kind in the world. Funded by Tulsa’s Vision 2025 and other private contributions, the planetarium theater will provide a virtual experience to fuel the imaginations of both children and adults.
TASM is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Travel north on Sheridan to 36th St. North to find TASM, 3624 North 74th East Avenue. It is located on the north side of the Tulsa International Airport complex. For more information, go to www.TulsaAirAndSpaceMuseum.com or call (918) 834-9900.