Aviation Museum Celebrates Opening Of New Location - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/12/07-Tyler

Aviation Museum Celebrates Opening Of New Location

Walking through the halls of the Historic Memorial Aviation Museum is like entering a time capsule.

"What you've got here is the entire history of aviation from the first balloon all the way through aerospace and today," says Curator Mike Burke.

6,500 square feet is covered in pictures, artifacts and paraphernalia. Much of them collected by veterans in East Texas.

Items include an actual propeller from a Jenny plane, widely used in world war one. There's a doomsday clock from the Cold War, it's capability includes detonating nuclear bombs. And there's more.

"We've got commercial aviation, we've got civil aviation, people with private planes, women in aviation," says Burke.

Women like Katherine Stinson, who got her pilot's license in 1912.

"Today in San Antonio you have Stinson Field it was named after her and her family," says Burke.

"I was really flabbergasted you know what I mean. It is beautiful!," says Oliver Allen touring the museum.

Allen served in the Army Air Corp. Much of his time was spent as a World War II Prisoner of War in the Philippines.

Walking through the museum brings back memories.

"I want somebody to know what it's like especially the young people that are coming up. They heard of Pearl Harbor but not the Philippines," says Allen.

"This is an ideal place to come look around. They got planes from every era, shape size and model out here," says Vietnam veteran Don Mullican.

Life-sized planes can be found on display just outside. For some, visiting the history on display here is just the American thing to do.

Mullican says, "First to honor and respect the men and women who fought in these wars, served in these wars. They paid a price and their families made a sacrifice."

More is in the works at the museum, in the next few weeks another room will be set up where plane engines will be on display. And a flight simulator will also be set up

The aviation museum is located at 150 Airport Drive in Tyler. It's open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Sunday the hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for active military, $3  for teens. Children under 12 are free.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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