Wings and Wheels

Wings & Wheels 2013

2013 was a record year for the museum, we gave away another airplane, had a B-17 hop rides off of our ramp, hosted vintage warbirds, expanded our volunteer base, as well as host events for countless people in a unique venue for their occasion.

THANKS to everyone who came out and helped to support the museum in 2013, we hope to see you back in the many years to come!

Each month, Wings & Wheels has a different theme to keep things fun and interesting. For a particular month's theme, we will try to get planes on static display, guest speakers, or hold special events which correspond to the curent theme.

No matter what type of plane you have, it is always welcome at Wings & Wheels!

Click on the month name below to view photos & information about previous Wings & Wheels events.

Wings & Wheels 2013


Business Aviation Day (1-19-2013)

Join us as we celebrate the role that aviation has played in business over the past century.

Business aviation day will feature aircraft that were or are used for corporate travel, such as the museum's own Lockheed Lodestar.


Chopper Day (2-16-2013)

Chopper day means helicopters & motorcycles!

We will be welcoming helicopters and motorcycles to the museum for a day of fun for the whole family! Past guests have included the LifeFlight air ambulance, the SkyFox News Helicopter, a Vietnam-Era UH-1 Huey, a US Coast Guard Dauphine, and many more!


Red Tails Exhibit (3-16-2013)

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron will welcome visitors at its RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum located at the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. Also joining the exhibit on Saturday will be CAF Gulf Coast Wing's B-17 "Texas Raiders". There will be rides available for purchase during this time.


Piper Day (4-20-2013)

Piper Aircraft started out in 1927 as the Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company, the same Taylor would give its name to the Taylorcraft, or T-Craft. These were pioneering days for aviation and for businessmen, and when the company, now called Taylor Brothers Aircraft Corporation, filed for bankruptcy in 1930, key investor William T. Piper bought it. A Harvard graduate, veteran of the Spanish-American War, veteran of WWI, and oil industry engineer, he would become known as the "Henry Ford of Aviation". His first role at the new Taylor Aircraft Company was secretary-treasurer, and Piper kept Clarence Gilbert Taylor in the role of President. The two shared a dream to open up aviation to the average American. In 1930 they produced an aircraft intended to encourage the growth of private aviation: the E-2 Cub.

You read that correctly. It wasn't until after Piper and Taylor parted ways in 1935, after a spat over modifications that produced a J-2 model, that the venerable J-3 Cub was produced. Taylorcraft Aircraft Company formed that year as well and would produce an aircraft that served with the J-3s in WWII, and under various reorganizations, continue to produce affordable small aircraft into the 2000s in exotic places such as LaGrange and Brownsville, TX. The J-3 however was a landmark aircraft that has been so loved that new variants are continuing to be produced as LSAs with modern touches.

Piper's company was not without its own reorganizations, with its founder replaced in 1946 with Chrysler ex-exec William Shriver. William Piper would regain control of his namesake company in 1950 and re-energize it, helped by a new contract for Cubs for the Korean War.

By this time Piper Aircraft had acquired Stinson Aircraft and developed one of their designs as the PA-23 Apache. The Apache would start a trend that Piper is known for, honoring the great native peoples of the Americas by giving their names to craft that would cross the sky: Apache. Pawnee. Commanche. Cherokee. Aztec. Navajo. Cheyenne. Seneca.

The Cub line continued as the Super Cub, with aircraft such as the Caribbean, Colt, Pacer and Tri-Pacer deriving from it.

Our own Raffle Plane, the Museum's sixth giveaway of a wonderful vintage airplane, is a beautifully maintained 1969 Piper Cherokee 140. N95244 may be our first to sell out tickets, thanks to the hard efforts of our volunteers to promote the event, the excellent quality of the plane inside and out, and healthy online sales that were not possible until this year. Find out more about N95244 on the website.


Learn to fly day (5-18-2013)

Many people from all walks of life learn to fly every day. It is a very fun and challenging hobby, or can be made into a career!

The EAA announced International Learn to Fly Day in 2009 with the aim of growing the pilot population and educating the public about the importance and value of the airports in their communities. Many people don't know what it takes to earn their wings. For many, flying is only something one daydreams about, because it is such an unknown, and it is up to pilots to invite others 'across the fence' and show them what it is all about. Airports as well are great unknowns, but they serve us and our communities - they are ours to visit too!

For Learn to Fly Day, we're inviting area flight schools and flying clubs to visit the original terminal building at Hobby Airport and help us remove the mystery about becoming a pilot. We've also invited our regional AOPA representative Yasmina Platt to join us.


Porsche 356 Day (6-15-2013)

Come on by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Houston Hobby Airport on Saturday, June 15 and join us for another Wings and Wheels! Every month we help make it possible to get up close to real planes and talk to real pilots at a busy commercial airport!

Spring is blooming all across central Texas, and beautiful flying days abound. Are you a pilot? Make the 1940 Air Terminal YOUR destination, and enjoy showing off your plane at the original terminal building for Houston Hobby Airport!

Any and all aircraft are welcome on our ramp, so in pure fly-in fashion, we are expecting a variety of privately-owned aircraft.

Or enjoy the warm sun (before it gets TOO warm) and drive on up. We will have the Lone Star 356 Club joining us with their beautiful 356-powered Porsches shining in the sun.


Raffle Day (7-20-2013)

This month our Raffle Plane takes center stage! It's Raffle Day! Join us as we draw the winner of the raffle plane.

Tickets are still available for $50 until noon on Friday, July 19. Buy a ticket today, and you could be the lucky winner! You can buy them right here on the website, or stop by, or call us.

Our sixth Raffle Plane is a beautiful, white 1969 Piper Cherokee 140B with red and blue stripes. It's a looker inside and out, and is great in the air.

The Vintage Thunderbirds of Houston will bring their beautiful vintage land craft to show off as well. VTOH exists to encourage the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of Ford Thunderbirds.


It's the Lone Star Lodestar round up! (8-17-2013)

This month, we're welcoming the Commemorative Air Force, Houston Wing, from West Houston Airport (KIWS) to our ramp!

Look for their C-60A Lodestar "Goodtime Gal", joining our own Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar N31G on the ramp. "Goodtime Gal" is bringing a bunch of her friends too, so come on by and meet everyone!

Lockheed's beautiful Lodestar Model 18 was intended to compete with the DC-3, and while many were impressed into service for World War II, the C-60A models were purpose-built for the military.

The Museum's N31G started life as a C-60A in 1942, and flew for the advanced glider school in Long Beach before its stints at TACA Airlines and as an executive aircraft. The CAF Houston Wing's C-60A Lodestar was built in 1943 and served as a paratroop transport.

It will be great to have these siblings together once again on our own ramp.


Texas Raiders and The Bluebonnet Belle (9-21-2013)

Our friends from two central Texas units of the Commemorative Air Force are visiting! Join us as we welcome our friends from the Gulf Coast Wing of the CAF, and the Highland Lakes Squadron of the CAF.

The Gulf Coast Wing is returning with their B-17G, "Texas Raiders", one of only eleven B-17s flying today. This aircraft is a wonderful example of the numerous bombers that helped win the second World War. It is also a wonderful example of the results of the tireless efforts by volunteers such as those in the Commemorative Air Force, Gulf Coast Wing, to preserve and restore these great pieces of aviation history.

Joining 'The TR' is the gorgeous C-47 from the CAF Highland Lakes Squadron, "Bluebonnet Belle"! This beautiful gleaming-metal aircraft served in WWII as part of the Lend-Lease Program, with the RAF in Great Britain, and later in Canada before a long and productive career as a civilian aircraft before returning to the States in 1995. The 'Belle is a regular at her home airport in Burnet for the Bluebonnet Airsho, but you will get to see her in Houston!

Both aircraft will be selling rides, so come out and watch or ride along!

Also see some beautiful cars from two very active car clubs: Lone Star Packards and Corvair Houston! Lone Star Packards formed in 1964 and is the third oldest Packard club in the US. This busy organization hosts national meets, schedules regular member events and spearheads special projects such as the acquisition of a WWII Packard PT boat engine for the Nimitz Museum in Fredricksburg. Corvair Houston was established in 1974 and joined the national Corvair Society of America in 1983. Also a busy organization, they also sponsor national events, car shows and member picnics, as well as regular road trips for its members. Every Corvair produced has an air-cooled engine just like many aircraft.

Each of these automobile organizations is a great resource for information, help and parts for the feature automobile but are open to all regardless of your car of choice.

Finally, we will be unveiling our 2013-2014 raffle plane and open ticket sales!


Airliner Collectible Show (10-19-2013)

Due to a really great event that we think you'll like, we will not be having a normal Wings and Wheels this month.

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum will instead host the 22nd annual Houston Airline Collectibles Show on Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vintage memorabilia – wings, posters, aircraft models, china, books, and much more – will be bought, sold and traded. Weather permitting, vintage aircraft will be displayed on the Museum’s ramp during the show. Admission to the show is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Lunch will be available from the Flaming Patties food truck.

Airline memorabilia are popular collectibles and demand is strong among aviation aficionados, industry employees and collectors. Rare items in good condition tend to retain their value over time. For some collectors, airline memorabilia brings back a time when jet travel meant elegant service with real china and cloth napkins. For others, it reminds them of a favorite trip or an airliner that they flew. Some people collect everything issued by a single airline; some focus solely on pilot’s wings.

Collecting vintage airline memorabilia is not an expensive hobby. Playing cards, swizzle sticks, post cards and advertising are inexpensive items with which to start. Some rarer collectibles can become pricey, and very large models command sums in the thousands. Airline collectibles shows attract crowds even though much buying and trading of collectibles has moved online. Much of the fun is in swapping stories as much as swapping items.

Aircraft are welcome to visit with prior arrangement through the Museum, but we will have no invited aircraft type clubs or automobile clubs scheduled.

The Museum will close at 4 pm for a private event.


Hangar Day (11-16-2013)

This month we invite you to come see the oldest building on the airport property, the 1928 Carter Airmail Hangar, also known as the Great Silver Fleet Hangar.

We rarely have an opportunity to show off the collection of airplanes and aviation related equipment stored in the hangar. We thought this would be a great chance, and a nice change of pace! We have many projects under way that we are looking forward to showing off. Did you know we have four aircraft simulators (in various stages of restoration) in storage, including a Link trainer? Thanks to the hard work from our volunteers, improvements to the hangar include easier access and better lighting in our Simulator Room. There are great things to see in the main hangar space of course! Perhaps you've been longing to look upon our lovely Lockheed Lodestar, behold our Bamboo Bomber, check out our Sikorsky chopper, or take in our Texaco Truck! Well, come on by and we will make sure you get to see this great stuff and more.

Back at the Terminal, we will have cars from Houston Area Pontiac Clubs, a collection of car collectors from clubs across Houston! Come see a really great variety of cars!

Fly-in visitors are encouraged, as you know any and every plane is always welcome to the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Fly to Wings and Wheels and join us on the ramp!


HoustonSpotters & Museum Volunteer Appreciation Day (12-21-2013)

This month we turn our attention to those who turn their attention to airplanes and airports. If you love planes, we are right there with you! A plane spotter can be anyone from the families who enjoy Hobby's public viewing areas, to folks who like to jot down tail numbers, to those who improve their own craft photographing these flying craft. Why do you like to look at planes? Maybe you love refining your photgraphy techniques, and hope your shot is picked by a magazine or airline. Maybe you want to see how much of an airline's fleet you can see, and later compare notes with your fellow spotters. Maybe you just like watching these things take to the air, and share that enjoyment with your family.

HoustonSpotters.Net is a website dedicated to plane spotting in Houston.

HoustonSpotters day is all about plane spotting and photography. Ramp tours of Hobby will be arranged, and groups of people will be taken around the field to spot planes and take photos.

We also like to recognize the hard work our volunteers do all year for our museum, whether helping our monthly fly-ins come together, or staffing the museum the other 290-something days of the year.

Stop by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Houston Hobby Airport and let's see what flys in! We will have a few Ops tours scheduled so that you can see our great airport from a different angle. Be someone out standing in our field! Indoors, volunteer Michael Bludworth will entertain you with Houston aviation history and trivia! Brush up on those rare aircraft and fun facts, and he'll try to stump you!