About Us

Our History

Old Hangar

When the Tulsa Municipal Airport opened in 1928 it had two aircraft hangars where aircraft were housed, both locals and transients. Hangar One was closest to the administration building so airport manager, Charles W. Short chose it to house the aircraft of visiting pilots. Through the decades Hangar One would house the aircraft of many aviation greats including Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jimmie Doolittle, Wiley Post and Frank Hawks, to name just a few.

Charles Short and Charles Lindbergh

Today the museum chronicles the incredible aerospace heritage of Tulsa which includes early Tulsa aviators, the rise of the Tulsa Municipal Airport, the work done at Douglas Tulsa, American Airlines, North American, Rockwell, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. The museum is the repository for not only its own artifact and aircraft collection garnered over the last 15 years but is also custodian of the Tulsa Airport Authority collection that includes the Charles W. Short collection. Charlie Short, as he was known, was the Tulsa Municipal Airport manager from 1928 to 1955. During his tenure he documented the day to day activities of the airport through photographs.

General Aviation

General aviation in Tulsa and the surrounding area has grown steadily throughout the decades since World War II. Small airports have come and gone over the last ninety years such as McIntyre Airport, Brown Airport, Commercial Airport, 15th Street Airpark and Cotton Field among others. Tulsa's R.L. Jones Airport is the busiest airport in the state due to the number of flight schools located there as well as many of the corporate aircraft housed there. Many aviation organizations operate in Tulsa and the surrounding area including the Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 10, Ninety-Nines, Civil Air Patrol, Warbird Squadron 10, Quiet Birdmen and the OX-5 Club, to name a few.

Hangar One

When the Tulsa Air and Space Museum laid plans for construction of their new museum building it was decided to honor the memory of the original Hangar One by naming their new home Hangar One. Sherman and Ellie Smith, long time Tulsa philanthropists, were major donors on the project and the building eventually became known as the Sherman and Ellie Smith Hangar One.

Recently the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has partnered with the museum to allow access to its vast collection of photographs that portray the training of pilots during the Golden Age of Aviation and World War II, as well as the aircraft built by the Spartan Aircraft Company. This project is ongoing and will greatly increase the holdings of the museum.

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Mission Statement: To preserve Oklahoma's aerospace heritage and inspire science-based learning through discovery.