Planes of Fame, the Early Days

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #1 GregP, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
    Thought this might also be interesting. The early days of the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino (now).

     
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  2. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    No link Greg?
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    My first trip there was in 1984. I couldnt believe it!!!
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid, we used to either see the flyable aircraft at Ontario or the non-flying aircraft at Cars of Stars, Planes of Fame in Buena Park (near Knott's Berry Farm)

    I don't recall exactly when (sometime in the early 70's), but The Buena Park museum closed and everything was moved to Chino and kept the name of "Planes of Fame". If memory serves me right, the museum at Ontario was simply called "Air Museum".
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #5 GregP, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    Fixed it, but have no idea why it "went away." Its on Vimeo.

    Graugeist, you are correct. It started as "The Air Museum" since there wasn't another one west of the Rockies at the time.

    Then it changed to "The Air Museum Planes of Fame" and, finally, to "The Planes of Fame Air Museum." We used to be affiliated with other museums, but now have only two locations, Chino, and Valle, Arizona.

    Along the way Ed Maloney sold a few planes to finance things. These days we usually don't but just sold our Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" to another museum as we were a long way from restoring it and they wanted to to start on it. Hopefully that will result in a Betty bomber in MUCH better shape than in the "as crashed" condition when we had it. There are only so many resources and we have enough projects right now. There is no room for another restoration project just now.
     
  6. Hiromachi

    Hiromachi Active Member

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    Some of that stuff was really rusty, seems you had a long way to go. But now it is truly great.

    And that Ki-84, shame what have happened to it :(
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Since the Ki-84 is metal, there is NOTHING that can't be fixed if the will to do it is there.

    Maybe someone will want to fly it one day. I hope it comes to pass. Would be nice to see it commit aviation again.
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff!
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Too bad about the Betty going. I don't think it will ever fly again. And it was perfectly good being displayed as in its crash position. Sort of a monument for all the warbirds that went down in New Guinea. Many still unaccounted for.
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #10 GregP, Dec 21, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
    Well, Paul Allen is not in the habit of starting out to restore something and then not carrying through with it. His track record so far is VERY good at making his restorations airworthy. So I have an idea it will fly one day again. I could be wrong there.

    On the plus side, we probably have the money now to make a few things happen. I am not on the board of the Museum, but the Zero will be finished and then we will start on the YP-59A and most likely have the money for the flight test program now. So, the Betty made a difference ... assuming things go the way they are supposed to go. I can't say at this point, but have no reason to think we won't get both the Zero and the YP-59A flying in 2016.

    I'd trade the Betty for that outcome, but I am also on the YP-59A team, so I'm a bit biased on that score maybe. I suppose we'll see about this time next year when the outcomes are known. Since we've been working on the YP-59A since 1992, the wait is small by comparison with restoration work under the bridge to date. We probably have 50,000+ volunteer man-hours in it at this point. That may well equate to many less man-hours from a team of experienced A&Ps, but we all still want to see some air under the wheels caused by the engines we have been looking after for 20+ years.

    When I say, "we," I mean the Planes of Fame volunteers, not just Greg. There are a LOT of guys with more work in it than I have given. I've only been on it for 9 years and can't wait for the first post-restoration flight. It won't get flown a lot anyway because of cost. Flying the YP-59A at an airshow is like flying six F-86s at the same show. the fuel flow on these early turbines is rather ... spectacular. You can cruise an F-86 at 600 pounds per hour (about 100 gph). The Bell YP-59A, at airshow altitudes, will burn 575 gallons per hour! That's about 3,450 pounds per hour!
     
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