1940 Air Terminal Museum blog


Friday, March 8, 2013
Filed under: by Blair
Wings & Wheels – Piper day
Jun 17 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

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.

Don’t forget to purchase your chance to win your own Piper aircraft with our annual raffle!  This year’s plane is a 1964 Piper Cherokee 180 which features a classic Piper paint scheme, full leather interior, as well as a full line of Narco avionics, and is fully IFR rated / capable.

Buy your tickets here:


Wings & Wheels – Raffle day
Jul 15 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

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

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.

This is the tenth year we’ve given away an airplane! You could be our lucky winner!

Wings & Wheels – Aviation Day! @ 1940 Air Terminal Museum
Aug 19 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Come on by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Houston Hobby Airport on Saturday, August 19 and join us for another Wings and Wheels. It’s Aviation Day!

This month Wings and Wheels falls upon Aviation Day. This is a ‘national observation’ established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to celebrate the development of aviation. Roosevelt was the first President to fly in an airplane while in office, and he chose Orville Wright’s birthday as Aviation Day. Orville was still alive when FDR made the proclamation in 1939, and would live to enjoy sharing nine birthdays with it. 2017 marks 146 days since Orville was born, and we encourage you to join us and celebrate the Wrights and other pioneers of aviation with a trip to the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.

Aviation has had very many pioneers to look back upon.

We of course have Wilbur and Orville Wright. Their determination and incremental progress toward powered flight eventually solved the puzzle of balancing the four forces of flight long enough to leave the ground, travel on the shoulders of the air and safely return to their starting point in a heavier-than-air craft. There’s also Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and HIS brother Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, who inspired many over a century earlier with their development of lighter-than-air craft. Otto Lilienthal can be found between them in time with his progress in unpowered gliders, and after him Gustave Whitehead made such progress bridging the gap between glider and powered flight that controversy exists about who got there first.

Once that threshold was crossed, however, there would be no end of contributors to aviation technology’s advances – many of them lending their names to aircraft companies we are familiar with. Clyde Cessna, William T. Piper, brothers Clarence Gilbert Taylor and Gordon A. Taylor, Walter and Olive Ann Beech, Louis Bleriot, Hugo Junkers, Lloyd Stearman, Glenn Curtiss, and Igor Sikorsky are but a few (and a number of them worked with and for each other).

It isn’t just the hard working designers who inspired us, but also the many who have taken these craft and inspired us to fly higher, farther, faster and more elegantly. Not least of which is Katharine Wright, who managed the family while her brothers were off at Kitty Hawk, helped her brothers with their budding fame and gained fame of her own when she accompanied Orville to France for flying demonstrations in 1909. The third woman to fly in an airplane, Katharine inspired the Baroness Raymonde de Laroche to become the first woman to get her pilot’s license. Many others also flew their way into history, amongh them of course Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Harriett Quimby, Eddie Rickenbacker, Jacqueline Cochran, Nancy Love, Charles Rosendahl, Eugene Ely, Gill Robb Wilson, and the list goes on and on.

It is because of these pioneers and many others that we can experience and enjoy aviation in its many forms today – lighter than air, rotorcraft, glider, powered flight and spaceflight. Thanks to their inspiration many of us have also learned to fly.

A remarkable example of the variety of aviation will be on display on our ramp. The versatile and graceful Grumman Albatross known around Houston as ‘Zeus’ is visiting us! If you’re here to see a plane, may as well see … an amphibious boat! (A seaplane can only land on water – Zeus can do it all!)

Also joining us will be vintage automobiles from the Houston MG Car Club. It is one of the largest British car clubs in Texas. Visitors may include Jaguar, MG, and Triumph automobiles, all of which are vintage, and all of which were imported.

Wings and Wheels is from 11 am to 3 pm the third Saturday of each month and has a different theme each month.

Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, and includes access to the Museum, static aircraft and vehicle displays, and supervised access to the ramp. Admission is waived for visitors who fly in, or who drive in with a classic car. Lunch is available from a local mobile food vendor.

Chalu’s Wings will be our food vendor for the day!


Manhattan Dolls
Oct 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Manhattan Dolls are back!

Live in concert Saturday October 28 from 6-8 pm, the museum once again welcomes the swing-style female vocal trio with the sound of The Andrews Sisters!

Click the link above, or call us to get your discounted tickets.

Wings & Wheels – Houston Day! @ 1940 Air Terminal Museum
Nov 18 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Come on by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Houston Hobby Airport on Saturday, November 18 and join us for another Wings and Wheels. It’s Houston Day!

We’re back – and so is all of Houston – and we’ll be better than ever. This is our first fly-in since Hurricane Harvey, and we’re fortunate to have a great venue, great neighbors and great support.

(We also just won the World Series. Did y’all hear?)

So, we’re celebrating everything Houston this month, and reminding everyone that as lucky as we were, there are a lot of folks still needing help. So pitch in – find a cause and help out, because together we’re Houston Strong.

Pilots – any and every aircraft is welcome on the ramp. We’ve got friendly people in the tower who enjoy our fly-in about as much as we do. If you’ve never been to a Class Bravo before, now is a great time to pair up with a pilot pal and add this to your logbook! Let us know you’re coming! Once you land, just ask to park at ‘the Museum’ or ‘the old terminal’ and you’ll be directed right to us.

Sam Houston Corvette Club

While you are here, visit with the nice folks from Sam Houston Corvette Club. This club was founded in 1993, and their active leadership coordinates gorgeous drives through the Hill Country, car show appearances, and parties for the Corvettes owned by its nearly 200 families.

Wings and Wheels is from 11 am to 3 pm the third Saturday of each month and has a different theme each month.

Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, and includes access to the Museum, static aircraft and vehicle displays, and supervised access to the ramp. Admission is waived for visitors who fly in, or who drive in with a classic car.