Civilian Aircraft

Civilian Aircraft

Although not always as visible as the great warbirds, civilian planes served a diverse and invaluable array of services to the history of flight, from transportion of goods and passengers, to serving as promoters of education and entertainment for different generations. The museum’s civilian aircraft collection represents a cross-section of all of these purposes and more.


Cessna 140A – Cessna Aircraft Company begin producing the C120 and C140 model aircraft for civilian owners after World War II. In 1954, two El Paso pilots, Ruth Deerman and Ruby Hayes used a 1950 Cessna 140A to enter and win the cross-country Powder Puff Derby race from Long Beach, CA to Knoxville, TX, a distance of 1,986 miles.

In 1994, the women donated the historic aircraft, “Cotton Clipper Cutie” to the museum. During the actual race, the aircraft was polished aluminum.