Texas Air & Space Museum

Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport is a commercial airport located in Amarillo named after the famous astronaut from the town, Rick Husband. Rick Husband was a highly esteemed and admired individual who traveled to space twice and was killed upon reentering the earth with his crew on his second mission. Upon this second mission, Husband and his crew were tasked with delivering crucial materials that the astronauts that were going to be living on the International Space Station to the station. They were successful in their mission and all were killed when attempting to come back home. The airport was named in Husbands honor the same year.

The airport in Amarillo is home to the Texas Air & Space Museum, a museum dedicated to aviation and all it entails. It is located specifically at 10001 American Dr, Amarillo, TX 79111 next to the airport and contains civilian and military aircrafts alongside various air and space artifacts. The first airport in Amarillo was located in what is today the neighborhood of Bivins. It was called Bivins Field and opened in 1920, but the neighborhood around it quickly developed by 1926. In 1929, two men named Harold English and Thornton Oxnard took it upon themselves to construct Amarillo’s first municipal airport. It was named English field and lived on for a good amount of time until 1972 when the building was no longer fit for use. That isn’t to say the two men didn’t try as much as they could to keep it open, but the structure had suffered many damages and even fires.

The Texas Air & Space Museum honors memories dedicated to English Field and outlines the history of aviation in the city. The old hangars of English Field actually house the museum itself. It was first opened in Tradewind Airport and started as a project of a group of local aviation enthusiasts who had the desire to create an air and space museum for all to see. It was started in 1989 and moved to English Field in 1997. The museum struggled in 2007 financially and was forced to close its doors due to a lack of funding needed in order to maintain and repair the building it is housed in. Thirteen of the 14 aircrafts in the museum’s possession were sold to other museums and the rest of what they had was hauled into storage.

The museum didn’t get its official name until reopening their doors in 2010. They were able to collect some aircrafts for display during closure and had gained a new space at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport with both indoor and outdoor exhibition space. The three aircrafts the museum had obtained included a North American P-51D Mustang, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on floats, and a de Havilland DHC-4 C-7 Caribou. In 2011, the museum acquired the Speed Johnson F8F Beercat Reno racer which is a locally built and flown aircraft. That same year, the museum was able to get its hands on the NASA Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft called ‘946’ which was flown by Rick Husband 46 times during his life.

Admission to the museum is completely free and donations are appreciated. Guests can visit the museum 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

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Map from Texas Air & Space Museum to Panhandle Blasting & Restoration:

Map from Texas Air & Space Museum to Western Bowl: