A Piece of Armstrong Aviation History Lands in Auglaize County

Historic Learjet Linked to Neil Armstrong Finds a New Home in Auglaize County.

The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (Serial Number 28-001) arrived at the Neil Armstrong Airport, New Knoxville, Ohio, on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. The date coincided with what would have been Mr. Armstrong’s90th birthday.

In 1979, when he was a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Neil Armstrong and Learjet test pilot Pete Reynolds set five Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and National Aeronautic Association class records for time to climb to an altitude and altitude while flying the Learjet aircraft.

The jet’s final destination, after being on exhibit at the airport, will be the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta. This effort fulfills a nearly five-year quest by the Museum’s Board of Directors to bring this important artifact from Mr. Armstrong’s life to the museum that bears his name. Board President Gregory Myers notes that the Learjet 28 will be a great addition to the collection in furthering the story of Mr. Armstrong’s accomplishments after he retired from NASA. The Learjet will be on display on the museum’s grounds and will help highlight the story of Armstrong’s lifelong passion not only for flying but for pushing the limits of aviation.

Co-piloting the flight from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to New Knoxville, Ohio, was former NASA Astronaut and two-time shuttle pilot, Gregory H. Johnson (COLONEL, USAF, RET.). Johnson, a member of the museum’s board of trustees, often cites Armstrong as a personal hero growing up and said it was an honor to be asked to co-pilot the jet to its new home in Ohio.

The historic Learjet 28 aircraft is being donated to the museum by Kevin Hayward, President/CEO of Ox Industries. The Museum Board wishes to express its deep appreciation for the artifact, which enriches the story of Mr. Armstrong’s aviation legacy. Thanks are also being offered to the Auglaize County Airport Authority and to the Auglaize County Commissioners for their assistance and support of the project. Donations are being accepted to help fund the outdoor pavilion at the museum where the historic jet will be on display to the public.

Those wishing to see the aircraft before it is on display at the museum may do so at the Neil Armstrong Airport in New Knoxville, Ohio. You will need to check-in with the airport manager at the terminal building when you arrive prior to viewing the historic jet.