Skip to content

Louisville’s Bowman Field expands 'The Sky’s the Limit' exhibit celebrating the History of Black Achievement in Aviation

Feb. 13, 2022
4 min read
Louisville’s Bowman Field expands 'The Sky’s the Limit' exhibit celebrating the History of Black Achievement in Aviation
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Kentucky’s Bowman Field – one of the oldest continually operating general aviation airports in the U.S. – is marking Black History Month with an expanded version of the exhibit “The Sky’s the Limit: A Celebration of History of Black Achievement in Aviation.”

The airfield, located about 15 minutes east of Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF), has a historic Art Deco administration building with a grand lobby that is ideal for displaying a series of large format photo panels and carefully researched information boards showcasing the history of more than a dozen women and men in the Black aviation community, their paths to achievements and some of the adversities they had to overcome.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

(Photo courtesy of Dan Dry/PriceWeber)

Visitors will learn about the Tuskegee Airmen, the African American military pilots and airmen who fought in World War II; Bessie Colman, the first African American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license (turned away from U.S. flying schools, she earned her license in France); and Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who worked at NASA and played a crucial role in calculations for orbital spaceflights and the first moon landing.

Related: 5 U.S. destinations where you can learn about Black history

Other panels tell the story of Robert Lawrence, a U.S. Air Force Major who was the first African American chosen by NASA to be an astronaut (in the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program), and Guion S. Bluford, who later became the first African American astronaut to go into space. The stories of Vance Marchbanks, the first Black flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, and Willa Brown, the first African American woman to earn a commercial pilot’s license in the United States.

(Photo courtesy of Dan Dry/PriceWeber)

“We hope to educate and inspire more people on the importance of Black achievement in aviation and celebrate the advancements that each of these leaders piloted,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, in a statement.

The “Sky’s the Limit” exhibit debuted in 2021 and returns this year in an expanded format with a series of short videos that include interviews with Nia Spiller, a flight instructor who learned to fly at Bowman Field and Julius Calloway III, who is the son of Major Julius Calloway, a Tuskegee Airman who operated Calloway Flying Services at Bowman Field.

Related: Black-owned hotels and resorts in the U.S.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Two other videos that include interviews in the “Sky’s the Limit” exhibition feature Keith Buckner, retired air traffic controller at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF), and Capt. Houston Mills, vice president of flight safety and operations at UPS Airlines, who played a key role in choosing the aviation pioneers featured in the exhibit.

In addition to speaking about their personal history in aviation, each person interviewed in the videos comments on why Bowman Field is important to them and what they hope visitors will learn from the exhibit.

This year the exhibit also includes a student art contest, with a grand prize of a scholarship to this summer’s Louisville Aviation Camp, held at Bowman Field.

(Photo courtesy of Dan Dry/PriceWeber)

The free exhibit is open daily through Feb. 28. The hours are: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The exhibit is in the Art Deco Administration Building, which is also home to a French fine dining restaurant, Le Relais.

Bowman Field is a busy general aviation airport listed by the National Park Service as the Bowman Field Historic District for its three notable buildings – the Administration Building (styled in ‘aerodynamic Moderne’), the Curtiss Flying Service Hangar, and the Army Corps Hangar. “During the 1920s benches were installed at Bowman Field to accommodate crowds of tourists who flocked there to watch the airplanes,” NPS notes.

Featured image by (Photo Courtesy of Dan Dry/PriceWeber)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

OFFER ENDS 5/3/23
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 125,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.

    Earn 125,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/3/23.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.