Building Index – Hangar 1, Building 401

Hangar 1, Building 401

7711 E. Academy Blvd
Denver, CO 80230
[GPS 39°43’13.44″N 104°53’42.84″W]

Lowry Field’s Hangar #1, Building 401, the 2nd new hanger to be built on Lowry Field, began construction in June of 1940 and was completed on 17 April, 1941. Hangar #1 has 12 massive 6 ton doors 250 feet wide each of which can be rolled open. Hangar #1 was re-purposed as the “Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum”.

[NOTE: The hanger number designations were switched by the military in 1966, the year all flying ceased at the base. Building 401 had originally been designated as Hanger #2, but had its hangar designation changed to what is known today as Hanger #1. See “Hangar Designations” panel at bottom of page.]

#1. 1940: Hangars #1 and #2, aerial photo taken in 1940. Hangar #2, using current Hangar designations, is shown on the top-left, and has a control tower built in the middle-center of its roof. Hangar #1, using current Hangar designations, is shown on the bottom-right (having “Lowry Field” printed on its roof), and has a control tower attached on its front-left side.
#2. Building 401, Hangar #1 (Hangar designation #2 in this 1955 photo).
#3. 1962: Lowry AFB’s Hangar #2, Building 402 (using current designations), was completed in August,1939 and is shown as the hangar on the left in this 1962 photo. Hangar #1, building 401 (using current designations), is shown as the hangar on the right side, and was completed in April of 1941. Both hangars have 12 massive 6 ton doors 250 feet wide that can roll open. When flying ended in 1966, the hangar on the left, now building 402, became the Base Supply Warehouse and later storage for the Defense and Finance Accounting Center prior to base closure. Hangar #1 became the “Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.
#4. November 2016. A vintage B-52 mounted in front of Hangar #1’s main entry to the Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. [G. Blood]
#5. November 2016. The main entrance to Building 401, Hangar #1 “Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.” [G. Blood]
#6. November 2016; The Navy EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft. The primary mission of the EA-6B Prowler is suppression of enemy air defenses in support of strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area. It is used by both the Marines and Navy and has a crew of 4, one pilot, three electronic countermeasures officers. Powered by two non-afterburning Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408 turbojet engines, it is capable of up to 575 mph with a range of 1,150 miles.
#7. November 2016. The “Colorado’s Astronauts” exhibit features the fine men and women with connections to Colorado and how they have helped transform our understanding of space. Through birth, university, or employment more than 64 astronauts have developed close ties to the State of Colorado. Also on display is a moon rock that was presented to Colorado’s own Astronaut Jack Swigert.
#8: Wide-view of the X-Wing fighter, visible are black smudge marks located on the skin from gunfire!
#9: Visible in this photo are some of the cast and crew signatures.
#10: R2-D2 ready to go, will beep and move head, radio chatter in the background!
“Our Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter is a 3/4-scale replica of the aircraft flown by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Signed by numerous cast and crew including Harrison Ford, George Lucas, and David Prowse this fan favorite continues to be one of the most popular exhibits at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Thanks to generous Rocky Mountain Fan Force volunteers and an agreement with Lucasfilm, this unique Star Wars heirloom continues to call our hangar home.”

Carrie Fisher, AKA “Princess Leia” of Star Wars fame, passed away unexpectedly on 27 Dec 2016 having reached only her 60th birthday. The Wings Museum paid tribute to Fisher on 28 Dec 2016.

Lowry Hangar Designations

[From John Bond’s Book, Chronological Review of Lowry, Legends of Flight 10-3, Pages 20-21 & Personal Observations.]

Building 402, Hangar #1, was the first hangar built. Has control tower in middle of roof. Started Aug 1938, completed Aug 1939.

Building 401, Hanger #2, was the second hangar built, has control tower on left-front side. Started June, 1940, completed 17 Apr 1941.

When flying stopped in 1966 Building 401 became Hangar #1. With the closure of Lowry AFB in 1994 Building 401 was re-purposed and became the “Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.” Building 402 became Hangar #2 and was re-purposed to become Lowry retail, offices, restaurants, and storage facilities.

After base closure, the official building numbers began to fade and are now known only as “Hangar #1; Wings Museum” and “Hangar #2; Storage & Retail.”

In 1985, a classroom extension was added on to Building 401 (known then as Hangar #1) and completed in 1986.