from Brian Finnegan on update:
the end of the “Stay At Home” orders for Southern California,
and with San Bernardino County in the Widespread (Purple) tier, Planes
of Fame Air Museum will open as an outdoor Museum beginning on Saturday,
January 30, 2021. The Museum will also be open on Sunday, January
31, 2021 and thereafter, will be open all Thursdays thru Sundays.
Hours of operation are 10:00am until 4:00pm.
will be able to visit most of the outdoor areas of the 10 acre facility
and will be able to view the majority of aircraft from the open large
hangar doors. Museum Guides wearing masks and maintaining social distance
will tell the stories related to the aircraft.
Saturdays and Sundays, the Museum’s Boeing B-17 “Flying
Fortress” will be open to visitors to safely enter and learn
about the men and women who designed, built, and flew these massive
bombers during World War II.
pricing remains in effect ($8.00 per adult, $4.00 for children 5-11,
and 4 and under are Free. The Museum’s Gift Shop is open.
are asked to wear a face covering at all times while at the Museum
and to maintain safe social distancing from those outside their immediate
family. Anyone not feeling well or anyone who has been exposed to
someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 is asked not to visit
at this time.
painting of FU-539 is currently on hold.
from Brian Finnegan on update:
the recent surge in Covid-19 infections throughout the Southern California
region and in the interest of public health and safety, the Planes
of Fame Air Museum will remain closed until further notice.
encourage everyone to minimize their travel to only essential needs
and to continue to maintain social distance, wear a face covering
when in contact with others, and wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
our website and social media platforms for updates on the reopening
of our Outdoor Experience."
from Jane Hinton on update:
F-86 is at the paint shop now for it's final base coat of silver.
Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat, the painting was delayed several
weeks. They can't paint when it's too hot because the paint will dry
too quickly and not come out nice and smooth. Now, the issue is that
there is so much ash in the air from the wildfires that it would stick
into the finish."
have made progress on the memorial though! We've finished giving the
fence a fresh coat of paint a few weeks ago (a different kind of paint!),
installing new handrails along the ramp for accessibility (we have
many disabled and older veterans visit our museum and we want to make
sure they can access the site), and we've painted and installed the
13 ft base pole for the F-86."
A Man and
Jerry Wilkins is a man beaming with pride.
“My pole is sure impressive,” he boasts.
It’s not a sentence one man usually hears from another so
I bite my lower lip.
“Wanna see it?” he inquires. Respectfully, I decline.
“No, no, you’ll love it. Let’s sneak out back
and let me show you my pole.”
Even on the walk through the Museum’s backyard he continues,
“It’s long and sleek and built to last.”
I’m becoming very uncomfortable.
As we turn a corner, he wheels in front of me. “Ready to see
it? Here you go.” He steps aside to show me his pole.
Jerry’s right, it is impressive.
At thirteen feet in length and several tons in weight, it is all
he said it would be. It’s destined for the Museum’s
new Korean War Memorial, where it will support a North American
F-86 Sabre jet.
“Yep, made of one-inch thick, high grade steel,” Jerry
said as he slapped a palm against the side of the pole. “Stainless
steel welds too, so they won’t rust. And check out the end;
see how it’s angled to hold the airplane?”
The end of the pole Jerry referred to is angled and pre-drilled
with holes to accept the F-86, one of two aircraft that serve as
focal points for this memorial to “America’s Forgotten
War.” The other aircraft, a Russian-built MiG-15, already
sits in its concrete cradle at the memorial site.
know,” Jerry said as he took a seat on the pole. “This
pole is more than a pole, it’s a symbol. Oh sure, it’s
built to suspend a Korean War airplane overhead, but it’s
also symbolic of how we as a nation need to support our military.
“We sent thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines
over to Korea. They went because their nation asked them to. They
didn’t complain. They fought; many died, and three years later,
those who survived simply packed up and went back home and got on
with their lives.
“Sadly, their nation forgot all about their war. Forgot what
they sacrificed, how they served. We can’t do that. We owe
them more than that. That’s why this memorial is so important.”
Jerry’s points are well taken. In the 37 months of the Korean
conflict, America deployed nearly 1.8 million troops to the Korean
peninsula. Over 36,000 Americans died, another 92,000 were wounded,
and nearly 5,000 are still missing in action. The war ended in stalemate,
and disagreements between North and South Korea still fester. Sadly,
ask most Americans about the Korean War and they’ll shake
their heads. It didn’t end with victory parades. It’s
not taught in the schools. It’s largely forgotten.
“I’m so proud of Planes of Fame with this project,”
Jerry said. “Our Korean War Memorial will be a living tribute
to all the men and women who served in this conflict, and especially
those who died.”
The passion in Jerry’s voice speaks of his commitment to the
project. There’s still much to do in the coming weeks to pull
the memorial together, but clearly, he is the man who can do it.
I almost feel ashamed at my earlier misreading of his boastful comments
about his pole.
But as Jerry points over to the F-86 Sabre jet that will be a part
of the memorial, he remarks, “Now I just need to figure out
how to mount her on my pole.”
Once again, I bite my lower lip.
Our thanks to Gary Johnson and all the gang at Ace
Clearwater Enterprises for their generous sponsorship of the F-86
pole. You guys rock!
Email sent out from the Planes of Fame Air Museum August 4, 2020
from Craig Bryant: "I was at the museum on Saturday and got another
picture of the F-86. When I looked at the new paint job up close I
guess I hadn't noticed before how much of a metal flake finish it
has. It really sparkles in the sun. I don't know if you can zoom in
on this but I think it's clear enough that you may be able to see
it. I spoke with a couple people on the progress of the project. The
outer fence around the display is done being painted. I was told that
Corey, one of the young guys who works out there, is going to head
up doing the detail painting on the plane. I've seen his work and
he is very good. It's just a matter of him getting the time to do
it. Soon I hope. Arrangements have already been made to use the same
crane company to lift it up and put it in place once the painting
is done. I know that it seems slow, but things are moving forward."
you Craig for that update!
helped with the fence restoration below. He cited that they packed
up after lunch there since it had gone over 100 degrees! They used
scotch brite to sand off the calcium from the sprinklers and repainted
them with Rustoleum.
July 11, 2020
During this time,
Craig noted that the F-86 has moved from its area near the hanger
and has been pushed back to the wash area in preparation of being
painted. In the meantime, he took a beautiful shot of the MiG fighter
on the newly poured concrete pedestals. This MiG will also be a part
of the new Korean War memorial.