During your visit to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, you will enjoy a number of historical exhibits that chronicle the people and planes that mark Oklahoma’s rich aerospace heritage, and your family will love interacting with a number of hands-on exhibits.
We’ve given a little preview below, but dozens more await. Fun and photo ops abound in and around the museum. So come on out!
Spartan Executive Model 12
This is the last aircraft manufactured by the Spartan Aircraft Co. and the only model 12 built. Commissioned by J. Paul Getty, the model 12 incorporated a tricycle landing gear instead of the antiquated tail wheel arrangement.
TASM’s MD-80 was donated to the museum by American Airlines. This aircraft flew continually for 26 years. That is about 39,968 flights covering about 38 million miles and carrying approximately 5.5 million passengers.
Grumman F-14A Tomcat
Brought to the Museum by two Oklahomans, Eric Benson of Sallisaw and Senator James Inhofe of Tulsa. TASM’s F-14A Tomcat is painted in the squadron colors of VF-41 “The Black Aces.” Listed on the nose are the names of Oklahomans who were pilots or crew members of the Tomcat, a gold star indicating those who were killed in action or during training.
Rockwell Ranger 2000
Designed by Rockwell for the Joint Primary Training Systems (JPATS) competition, the Ranger was built in Germany in conjunction with Messerschmitt, Bolkow and Blohm. Unfortunately the Ranger 2000 was not selected, rather than being scrapped it was donated to TASM. Visitors of all ages enjoy climbing into the cockpit and experience the thrill of being at the controls of a jet.
Bell 47-K Helicopter
This rare aircraft that was the first factory-built instrument training helicopter for the U.S. Navy. Built in 1957, only 18 were completed and this is the only known flyable example left. It’s last flight was in 1998 just before it was installed in the museum.
The Aeromet AURA
Designed for a military application the AURA was intended to photograph enemy missiles or bomb those missiles and fly its mission without a pilot. Designed by Aeromet of Tulsa in the mid ‘80s, it is one of the earliest UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). AURA is an acronym for Autonomous Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft.
APOLLO A 50 YEAR Celebration
July 18, 2019 @ 2:00pm – TASM Launches Apollo Mission Exhibit
The Tulsa Air and Space Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a temporary exhibit highlighting local contributions to the famed mission.
Mayor G.T. Bynum will be planting the ceremonial lunar flag at 2:00pm on the stair of the 2nd floor mezzanine where the Apollo Mission Exhibit will be displayed from July 18, 2019 through November 30, 2019. At 2:30pm the Exhibit is public and open for business! On July 18th and 19th only, the Museum will be open late until 7:00pm and both days will include curator QA sessions, Saturn 5 chats and a LIVE watch party of the Apollo Anniversary Show direct from NASA.
This exhibit is special for Tulsans because we have many items that are only display here and nowhere else. Artifacts like a full scale replica of the Apollo command Module given to us directly via NASA in which General Tom Stafford agrees has a level of detail that is hard to find in Oklahoma! There are also two Master command Consoles that are original computer units in Mission Command when we landed on the Moon in 1969!
“Everyday Tulsans played a role in putting a man on the moon, and we want to honor their efforts”. “For example, parts of the Saturn 5 rocket were made here (in Tulsa) at North American Aviation, which became Rockwell.” The exhibit, “Apollo: A 50 Year Celebration,” will begin by detailing the space race and the Gemini and Mercury missions. On display will be an Apollo Command module and two large Master Command Control consoles, as well as a large model Saturn Rocket. The exhibit also incorporates the story of Astronaut William Pogue, who was born in Okemah and raised in Sand Springs. He became an astronaut in 1966 when chosen as part of the Apollo Program’s Group 5. In the months leading up to the launch of Apollo 11, Pogue worked in a support role to help Buzz Aldrin prepare for the historic moon landing. On launch day, July 16, 1969, Pogue worked in the command center, playing a key role in pre-launch. Pogue would go on to spend 84 days in space as part of the Skylab program, a record that stood for two decades.
Tulsa Municipal Terminal
In 1930, Tulsa’s Municipal Airport was the busiest airport in the world due to the oil boom. Tulsa’s wood and tarpaper shack was inadequate, plans were made to replace it with a modern terminal building. This exhibit is a recreation of the art deco airport terminal completed in 1931, walk through the original door frames just like aviation greats Will Rogers, Amelia Earhart and Wiley Post did in the 30’s.
As part of President Roosevelt’s “Arsenal of Democracy” to aid WWII efforts, Tulsa was selected as the new location of a Douglas plant. Employees of the Douglas-Tulsa plant bought enough war bonds to cover the cost of the last B-24 built in Tulsa, and so dubbed it The Tulsamerican. The Tulsamerican fought in Europe, it’s last mission was on December 17, 1944 where is was attacked and crashed. It currently rests in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia.
Astronaut Bill Pogue
William “Bill” Pogue was born in Okemah, Oklahoma and raised in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He was selected as a NASA Astronaut in 1966, he served as support crew for several Apollo Missions. In 1973 he was launched into space as pilot of the third manned Skylab Mission. Explore his record-breaking career in our exhibit, the largest collection of his personal items.
Hot Air Balloon Simulator
Step into a real hot air balloon basket and see if you’ve got what it takes to pilot a balloon. Keep an eye on your altitude, wind direction and propane supply. Can you score a 100%?
Space Shuttle Launch
Become a NASA engineer and follow the sequence of steps to launch our 15 foot Space Shuttle Stack, complete with recorded count down and engine lights. This team building exercise requires two people working in unison.
Space Shuttle Robotic Arm
Designed to allow visitors the experience of manipulating items in space, the Robotic Arm challenges them to move various shaped targets from one location to another. “This is exactly what it looks like!,” said Commander John Herrington.