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Monday, January 18, 2021

Fort Worth council rejects loan to Aviation Museum for B-58 Hustler

A Fort Worth-built supersonic bomber aircraft flown around the 1960s will no longer be coming to the Fort Worth Aviation Museum.

The Fort Worth City Council voted May 17 to reject a $250,000 loan to the museum, which would have helped the museum move a B-58 Hustler aircraft from the now-closed Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum Rantoul, Illinois, to Fort Worth. The vote was 7-2, with councilmen Jungus Jordan and Zim Zimmerman voting in favor of the loan.

“This particular opportunity to have this aircraft is certainly a product of interest of several and the efforts of many, but the way that it’s presented right now puts the burden on the citizenry,” Councilman Dennis Shingleton said. “That’s not where it belongs.”

The Aviation Museum planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign this month to raise money for the plane’s move, pending the city council’s approval, said Jim Hodgson, executive director of the museum.

He said he was disappointed by the city council’s move, since the council had previously passed a resolution in March that stated the city has enough funding to relocate the aircraft.

He said the city has a “spoiled reputation” with the museum.

“This doesn’t damage us,” Hodgson said. “We’re the same organization that we were yesterday.”

He said he doesn’t know what the fate of the plane will be. If no other city acquires the plane, the plane will be sent to Tucson, Arizona, for disassembly.

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