Museum History

Houston's Aviation History Timeline


The year is 1920. The Great War has ended. Train loads of unused aircraft are shipped to Houston's Ellington Field, which serves as a depot for disposing of surplus property.

Aspiring barnstormers buy crated Curtis JN-4 Jennies and assemble them outside at Ellington. Many then teach themselves how to fly.

Ellington Field is closed.

June 4, 1927:

Houston Airport Corporation, owned by W.T. Carter, Jr., opened a 193 acre airfield on Telephone Road. Lt. Frank Hawks was the first tenant. Mr. Nelms was the first airport manager and Mr. Neuhaus was the assistant manager.

February 6, 1928:

Contract Air Mail Route 21 is inaugurated by bus pioneer Temple Bowen's Texas Air Transport, bringing air mail service from Houston to Galveston and Dallas using Pitcairn Mailwings.

January 23, 1929:

Contract Air Mail Route 29 is inaugurated by Gulf Coast Airways between Houston and New Orleans.


Texas Air Transport and Gulf Coast Airways merge to form Southern Air Transport.