Armstrong’s Learjet 28 Longhorn to come home on his birthday


The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (Serial Number 28-001) is scheduled to arrive at the Neil Armstrong Airport, New Knoxville, Ohio on Wednesday morning, August 5, 2020 for permanent display in Armstrong’s hometown.  This date coincides with what would have been Armstrong’s 90th birthday. In addition to his successful NASA career, Armstrong set five class records while flying the prototype Learjet.


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 prototype aircraft.

The jet’s final destination, after being on exhibit at the airport, will be the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, OH (Armstrong’s hometown) in the National Aviation Heritage Area. 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.

Scheduled to co-pilot the flight from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to New Knoxville, Ohio, is former NASA Astronaut and two-time shuttle pilot, Gregory H. Johnson (COLONEL, USAF, RET.).  Johnson often cites Armstrong as a personal hero growing up and said co-piloting this jet to its new home in Ohio will be an honor.

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 Neil Armstrong Airport Board of Trustees and to the Auglaize County Commission for their assistance and support of the project.

Editors: The expected flight arrival time is 10am; however, the weather may play a role in determining the exact time. Learjet 28-001 will do several flyovers of the Armstrong Museum before its final landing in New Knoxville.  You can contact Neil Armstrong Airport Manager Ted Bergstrom at (567)204-0836 for more exact information on the morning of the flight.  Gregory H. Johnson, Armstrong Museum Director Dante Centuori, and Museum Board members will be available for interviews at the Airport. For more information about this newest acquisition for the museum, you can contact Dante Centuori at (419) 944-0123.

To learn more about the National Aviation Heritage Area’s 15+ aviation sites, please contact Elizabeth Connor, director of communications, at (937) 231-5804 or by email at [email protected]. Photography and videography will be available after the landing for media use.