Cleared for Takeoff examines over 100 years of regional aviation history, both military and civilian, in southern New Mexico, using photographs, oral histories, and historic objects. Starting with the introductory use of military airplanes in 1916 after Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, NM, the exhibition explores the local impact of aviation-related training programs offered through New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts during World War II and the post-war era. It addresses the flourishing of civilian aviation in the 1950s–1960s, with the formation of flying clubs and shuttle airlines dotting southern New Mexico. With the decline of leisure flying beginning in the 1980s, it notes the changing nature of local aviation in the 21st Century. Come learn more about aviation history in southern New Mexico.
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