An approximately $1.3 million addition to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot will house warbirds from the Texas Flying Legends Museum in Houston when they are on display here.
"For three months of the year it will be dedicated to the warbirds display," said Warren Pietsch, Minot air museum board member. He also is vice president of operations and chief pilot with the Texas Flying Legends Museum.
The Texas Flying Legends Museum is a private museum. Its warbirds include a B-25 Mitchell bomber "Betty's Dream," P-51 Mustang "Dakota Kid," P-40 Warhawk, Corsair and the Zero, a Japanese fighter plane.
The P-40, the Zero and the P-51 are back in Minot at the Dakota Territory Air Museum, shown in this photo taken Tuesday. The planes belong to the Texas Flying Legends Museum and are among five, also a B-25 and Corsair, that will be here for about three months.
A 22,500-square-foot addition to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot will be going up in this area west of the museum this summer, shown in this photo taken Wednesday. The hangar will be used for warbirds from the Texas Flying Legends Museum when those planes are in Minot.
The big red zero on the Zero, a Japanese fighter plane, easily identifies this plane belonging to the Texas Flying Legends Museum. The is shown Wednesday in the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.
When the Texas museum's warbirds are not in Minot, the hangar can be used for other displays, Pietsch said. From Minot, the planes go to Wiscasset, Maine, where they are for the rest of the summer and then to Houston for the winter.
"They wanted a place to get all their airplanes in when they bring them up here," said Don Larson, president of the Minot air museum's board of directors. He said the Texas group is planning to add more planes to its fleet.
The new hangar project already is paid for with contributions the major portion coming from the Texas Flying Legends Museum and Bruce Eames of Houston.
Strata Concrete and the William Langer and Susan Flickinger Gokey Foundation of Minot also are contributors.
"The building already has been ordered," Larson said. He said it will be a 150-by-150 foot structure, with about 22,500-square-feet. R&K Contractors Inc., Minot, is the contractor.
The new hangar will be built west of the existing museum on the west side of the entrance road to the existing facility. For the time being the new structure will be separate from the existing museum. It will have restroom facilities.
The new hangar also will have an approximately 260-foot by 300-foot ramp for parking planes - a ramp larger in size than the new hangar. When events are held at the air museum, the ramp will be used to park vehicles.
Pietsch said more options are available pending future donations.
This is the fifth construction project for the air museum and its fourth addition, Larson said. He said the museum's first building was done in 1989.
The new addition is expected to be completed this fall.