B-25 FlyingWent over to the Planes of Fame Air Museum at the airport in Chino, CA. Haven’t been there since I was 7/8 years old. It has come a long way since then. They have several large hangars dedicated only to the museum as well as a nice museum store. I love and have always loved aviation and it was cool to visit this place again.

Most of the airplanes on static display there are active, flying planes. You will see catch pans under the engines, etc. I love it! I love knowing that these planes are regularly flown and not just inoperable empty shells of airplanes. Most of the airplanes there are in the single digits of existence in the world. The majority of these war birds were scrapped after the wars that they were in.

The group of volunteers that works and restores these airplanes back to life are amazing. I spoke to a couple of them while in the restoration hangar. One of the gentleman was a retired airline pilot who comes up to the museum on most days and works on multiple aircraft restoration projects. Currently he and others are 6-8 months from completion on a 10 year restoration project of America’s first jet fighter plane, the P-59 Airacomet.

P-59 Airacomet

America's First Jet Fighter

If you want a relatively inexpensive, up close and personal experience with history, this place is for you. Even someone who isn’t an aviation buff would enjoy this place. The exhibits are very well done and accessible but the “back room” workings are also very much visible to you (I love this). You can walk right through the work areas where active restoration projects are taking place as well as through the tarmac display of rough, future restoration projects. Also, as I mentioned before, the volunteers who are actively working on bringing these historical birds back to life will walk right up to you and tell you all about the place and what they are currently working on, etc. I love this kind of unpretentious environment where you get the professional museum experience but also the personal touch of the people behind it. No knock against the LA County Natural History Museum, which I also visited very recently, but this place beats it hands down.