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Bottom to Top; Mitsubishi A6M5, Zero Vought F4U-1A, Corsair Lockheed P-38J Lightning.

Featured Article

Visit Planes of Fame Air Museum

The Planes of Fame Air Museum takes visitors on an action-packed ride through aviation history.

Let your inner history buff take flight at the unbelievable Planes of Fame Air Museum.

Now in its 66th year, Planes of Fame is one of the largest aviation-themed museums in the world, located at the Chino Airport since 1974.

“Planes of Fame Air Museum is like a step back in time,” says Brian Finnegan, Director of Education Programs and Museum Development.

“You’ll see aircraft from the earliest days of aviation (including a replica of the 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer) through aircraft of the First World War, the Golden Age of aviation, the Second World War plus early jets from the 1950s and 1960s,” he says.

“Guests can see these aircraft up-close and learn about them through graphics, displays, and our team of Museum Guides.”

Planes of Fame is primarily a volunteer-driven business. Guests interact with knowledgeable, friendly volunteers who fill roles from Tour Guides and Education Guides to restoration teams and detailers.

Prepare to be amazed at artifacts that have come to life straight from the history books. 

“We are a ‘flying museum’ in that several of the aircraft in our collection have been restored to flight,” says Brian. “These aircraft are featured in monthly museum events and air shows throughout the west, as well in movies and television shows. Planes of Fame boasts some of the rarest aircraft from our aviation past, including the world’s only authentic flying Japanese Zero, several that are the last surviving examples of their kind, and dozens of aircraft that served with air forces around the world.”

The museum was founded by lifelong aviation enthusiast Edward T. Maloney of Pomona.  

“At the end of World War II, Ed observed the destruction of aircraft from that war that were now deemed obsolete,” notes Brian.

“Pledging to save as many aircraft as he could, he spent the next sixty plus years in that endeavor.  When he passed away in 2016, it was estimated that Ed had saved over 250 aircraft of varying types – some the last or near last of their kind. These aircraft are in the Planes of Fame Air Museum collection as well as in Museums throughout the world.”  

According to Brian, Ed’s dream lives on, thanks to the museum’s many efforts.

“The museum continues to follow Ed’s example by restoring and flying many of these aircraft for audiences today. For our younger generations, this work allows them to witness first-hand the excitement, power, and importance of aviation in our lives.”

Planes of Fame continues to expand, with several ongoing restoration projects at the Chino location, as well as new exhibits and events being planned through the fall.

“The museum has also embarked upon an expansion program in the Central Coast region of California,” says Brian. “At the Santa Maria Airport, a new facility is being constructed that will give the Museum two locations for visitors to experience aviation history through flying demos, airshows, displays, and restoration work.

Phase One of the Santa Maria Expansion is expected to open in 2025.

Brian encourages those interested in Planes of Fame to visit https://www.planesoffame.org/ for upcoming events, including a monthly Hangar Talk, Flying Demos, and special events throughout the year.

Planes of Fame Air Museum is a blast from the past. As one of the largest aviation-themed museums in the world, you can see many types of aircraft from the earliest days of aviation, fully restored in all their glory.

“Planes of Fame Air Museum is like a step back in time. The museum boasts some of the rarest aircraft from our aviation past,” says Brian Finnegan, the Director of Education Programs and Museum Development.

  • Guests enjoy Planes of Fame during Monthly Flying Demonstration.
  • Young visitors learn aviation history during tour of Planes of Fame Air Museum.
  • Bottom to Top; Mitsubishi A6M5, Zero Vought F4U-1A, Corsair Lockheed P-38J Lightning.
  • Guests listen to one of the Monthly Presentations on aviation history at Planes of Fame.