Museum History

Houston's Aviation History Timeline

1960

The year is 1960. First Continental, and then Braniff and Eastern have introduced Houston to turboprop airliners. Eastern plans to introduce Houston to the jet age with its new Douglas DC-8s, but Delta steals Captain Eddie's thunder by flying one of its new Convair 880s to Houston unannounced. Houston corporations have also welcomed the jet age with Lockheed's Jetstar, and anticipate the announced turboprop Gulfstream and pure jet which Bill Lear is designing from a Swiss fighter. General aviation has recovered and is thriving.

Many light aircraft are now all-metal and some feature tricycle landing gear. The radial engine is disappearing from new general aviation aircraft, just as it has disappeared from new airliners. J. D. Reed is now the elder statesman of general aviation in Houston and King Cruse's Cessna dealership is doing a brisk business selling the growing line of Wichita-built light aircraft.

A group of investors is planning to put a new version of the Navion into production in Galveston and the Cameron Iron Works is modifying earlier Navions into twin engine aircraft.

January 24, 1960:

Eastern Airlines inaugurates Douglas DC-8 service on its routes.

May 15, 1960:

Delta Airlines inaugurates Convair 880 service on its routes.

1960:

Lone Star Airlines inaugurates service from Dallas to Houston using Martin 2-0-2As.

63,316 airline flights to and from Houston carry 1,409,346 passengers.

1961:

62,245 airline flights to and from Houston carry 1,485,039 passengers.

1962:

Glenn McCarthy's Boeing 307 Stratoliner is sold to Florida Jet Research and is flown out of Houston for the last time. The new owners narrowly escape disaster when an electrical fire breaks out in the cockpit during the ferry flight over the Gulf of Mexico. Later damages in a hurricane, the 307 is converted into a houseboat.

60,515 airline flights to and from Houston carry 1,618,694 passengers.

1963:

67,811 airline flights to and from Houston carry 1,896,377 passengers.

1964:

78,080 airline flights to and from Houston carry 2,174,080 passengers.

1965:

A new control tower is completed at Houston International and tower operations are moved from the 1940 Air Terminal.

81,641 airline flights to and from Houston carry 2,599,561 passengers.

1966:

90,679 airline flights to and from Houston carry 2,982,634 passengers.

1967:

Houston International Airport is renamed William P. Hobby Airport. 103,976 airline flights to and from Houston carry 3,404,721 passengers.

1968:

121,140 airline flights to and from Houston carry 4,059,021 passengers.

June 8, 1969:

All scheduled airline service moves from Hobby Airport to Houston Intercontinental Airport.

1969:

156,966 airline flights to and from Houston carry 4,501,362 passengers.