Opened in 1957, the site is now home to nearly 150 vintage military aircraft, 30 of which have been restored to flying condition.
And if you time your visit right, you may be able to catch one of Planes of Fame’s monthly Living History Flying Days. Held on the first Saturday of the month, each one these mini air shows typically begins with a lecture or presentation followed by a flying demonstration by one of the museum’s own planes, or a visiting aircraft on loan from another collection.
We attended one of these events in recent weeks all about First World War aviation. Afterwards, we got a chance to take in most of the museum’s collection. Here’s what we saw.
Adventure at 20,000 feet
Today, flying has been utterly stripped of the glamour and excitement it once held. For most people, air travel in the 21st Century involves a few hours in an aluminum and composite tube with about 150 other travelers. Leg room is at a premium but on the bright side there are snacks, drinks, and maybe a movie, edited of course for an airline audience. It’s a little uncomfortable, somewhat unpleasant but mostly tedious. Yet to anyone who lived 100 years ago, aviation was anything but full. It was the domain of the daring and was made up of equal parts daring-do, thrills and romance.
Back then, “flying” meant taking to the heavens in a flimsy open-cockpit aircraft made of wood, fabric, and wire with few instruments. There was no radar, no radio, limited range, and the constant spray of castor oil leaking from the uncowled engine.
It’s cold at 20,000 feet, so pilots of the era had to wear helmets, goggles, lots of warm clothing. Many brought along oxygen tanks — just like anyone climbing Mount Everest. It took courage to fly and fight in those primitive aircraft. Perhaps for this reason, early pilots were - were called Knights of the Air.
And like mounted warriors of old, early military pilots also lived by an old-time code of chivalry. When the German ace Oswald Boelcke was killed, he was given a funeral at the cathedral in Cambrai, France before his body was shipped back to Germany. Featured at the funeral service was a pillow sewn by POWs from the Royal Flying Corps in tribute to their fallen foe. Continue reading here
Entrance to Planes of Fame Museum
B-17 on static display
Replica French First World War Hanriot bi-plane.
North American F-86 Sabre
Vought F4U Corsair
N-9M Flying Wing
Razor Sharp — Nine Fascinating Facts about the F-86 Sabre
THE F-86 SABRE was the principal U.S. Air Force fighter during the Korean War. Developed in the late 1940s by North American Aviation, it served in the militaries of many nations for decades after its combat debut.
Here are some fascinating facts about America’s iconic early jet fighter.
1.) It was inspired by a German design
The Sabre originally began as a straight-wing jet, but aerospace engineers at North American altered the design mid-stream to incorporate swept back wings. They made the change after being granted access to German data from tests of the Messerschmitt 262, the world’s first operational jet fighter.
I walked in bright and early to avoid Los Angeles’s notorious traffic congestion. This was my first time at the museum. Naturally, I photographed some of the cars there. One, a Porsche 917 called “Unfair Advantage,” had a 1500 horsepower engine that would have been at home in a World War II fighter. (I won’t get a chance to drive the car, but I once had a chance to fly in a P-51C Mustang with a similar V-12 engine – you can really feel the power!).
During the first panel, Terry Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Museum, stated that autonomous vehicles (AVs) are “not taboo, but welcomed here” – a painful statement for those of us who like to drive our own cars. To read more of this article, click here.
Porsche 917 called “Unfair Advantage.”
Lane courtesy means to drive always in the right lane unless you are passing someone slower. In some countries, such as Germany, people practice this simple, helpful idea. Sadly, this is not true in Los Angeles.
Of course, lane courtesy makes no sense during rush hour in Los Angeles, when all freeway lanes, including the carpool lanes, are crawling along equally slowly. (Toll lanes are another matter; they’re usually clear because few people wish to pay for the tolls.)
However, there are times when the freeways are wide open and lane courtesy becomes important. The point of the freeway is to get to your destination as quickly as you can without throwing safety completely out the window. Steam comes out of my ears when I’m closing in from behind on someone drifting along in the left lane.
What’s your excuse? Texting or talking on the phone? Sorry, the call probably isn’t that important – and if it is, do the rest of us a favor and pull over! Then you can talk to your heart’s content! Some of us are old enough to remember the days before cellphones, when you were out of touch while driving. (There’s a certain joy to turning off your phone and being unreachable – try it sometime!) Read more of this article here.
I love my dumb car
Why does my car need to be connected to the Internet? Convenience? Convenience for whom? Insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, vehicle manufacturers, and advertisers, each spying on my movements for their own purposes? What happened to being left alone? What happened to the Fourth Amendment?
Driverless cars are even worse. Hacking of them has been demonstrated already. Techno-geeks, socialists, and environmentalists never miss an opportunity to tell us that cars should be shared because none of us drive our cars 24/7. Nonsense! I don’t want to share my car, or somebody else’s. Sure, I don’t drive my car 24/7. So what? I’m not in my house 24/7; must I share it with some gang of strangers too? Can the car-sharing advocates explain how... Read more click here.
The Adventures of Master and Monster
The Adventures of Master and Monster, written by Michael Jabbra and illustrated by Christie Shinn, is a children’s story about a man and his dog enjoying a day together. It is loosely based upon the author’s memories of his life with his West Highland White Terrier.