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Neile's Hometown Heroes: 82-year-old learning, teaching at Tulsa Air and Space Museum

Neile's Hometown Heroes: 82-year-old learning, teaching at Tulsa Air and Space Museum

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- If you stop by the Tulsa Air And Space Museum, you'll not only learn about Tulsa's ties to NASA but you'll also meet a man who can tell you all about it because he lived it.

You might say it's almost like our own version of the movie "Night At The Museum."

"I get the chance to talk to people about aviation because I like it, it's in my blood," said Francis Burke, a docent at Tulsa Air And Space Museum. "We made all the doors for all the space shuttles."

The characters at TASM aren't just the airplanes and other exhibits - but the people like Burke who help ensure you understand T-Town's ties to the aerospace industry.

"I was the engineer responsible for doing the structural test on the payload bay door on the space shuttle," said Burke.

The 82-year-old started serving as a docent here in 2007, sharing some of the history behind things he actually worked on or even helped create.

Burke told us, "In working on the Apollo program, another engineer and I brought the engineering to Tulsa for the limb adapter."

"A lot of people don't realize that components of the Saturn missile rocket and components of the space shuttle were built right here in Tulsa, and having people that were part of that history and be able to share there story and tell it is invaluable," said Tonya Blansett, TASM executive director.

The whole experiences is fun for kids like Camden and Liam Choate who spent some time learning from Burke while we were there.

"Maybe they will wind up influenced, then to get involved in the aerospace type of work," said Burke. "Be an airplane pilot of be involved in the engineering of vehicles."

For Burke it's all about the idea there's still more to learn and everyday is still a new adventure.

Burke also carries a binder with him and if you ask he will show even more of his life's work. The father of two has been married for 54 years. And by the way, his wife is also an engineer.

If you want to meet him look for him on Fridays at the museum before noon.

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