Planes of Fame – Chino Air Show 2011

The County of San Bernardino Planes of Fame Airshow is an annual event and one NEVER to be missed. Joe and I have been making this trip for the past three years and it just keeps getting better. This year was special as it was celebrating the “100th Anniversary of  U.S. Naval Aviation”. Planes of Fame in conjunction with the County of San Bernardino, did another great job bringing to the skies 40 historic aircraft.

Brian E. Boyer, chairman of the museum’s Board of Directors, estimated they might have attracted more visitors than in previous years. “It looked like a record crowd,” he said. “The pilots reported seeing all the parking lots filled and people going into the overflow” lots. Some of the flying demonstrations  performed were a mock dog fight between a Japanese Zero and a P-38 Lightening. A second mock dog fight included a German FW-190 and a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.  There was a Douglas demo with the Dauntless SBD, an A-4 Sky Hawk and a Vietnam era Sky Raider flown by our good friends Bill Muzsala and Mike “Buick” Eberhardt. The last demo was a combination of Sabre Jet, Mig and Shooting Star.

The birth of naval aviation is generally pegged at May 8, 1911, which was the day that the Navy signed a contract to purchase aircraft.This happened just months after pilot Eugene Ely, working for Glenn Curtiss, and flying a Curtiss pusher biplane made the first take off from a ship, the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay. Curtiss immediately offered free training to any Navy pilot and chose North Island in San Diego Bay for that work. Just 100 years and days after the Navy signed that first contract, the Chino Airport skies will be filled with generations of Navy and other services airplanes. Some 40 aircraft are scheduled to fly in the 2011 show and many more will be available in close up static displays.

Some of the aircraft that flew were the Grumman Wildcat, Hellcat and Avenger, the Douglas Dauntless and Skyraider, and the Vought Corsair. An authentic Japanese A6M5 Zero from World War II. Aircraft on static display were a C-17A Globemaster from March ARB, Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer from Casa Grande Az,  Navy F-18F Super Hornet from VFA-122, the B-17 “Fuddy Duddy” from Lyons Air Museum and scores of other restored aircraft.

The USAF Strike Eagle F-15E Demo team also did a wonderful routine over the thrilled fans. Thanks “Cash” and “Buda”. You guys did not let us down!!

One of the cool static displays was a ME-109 under restoration. The POF had set it up down by the Living History Actors area and it was a perfect place seeing that some of the actors were of German Military. The Spanish built ME-109(N700E) was featured in the 1969 film ‘Battle of Britain”.

I’d like to recognize  Jerry Wilkins for his hard work and dedication as Air Show Coordinator on this year’s air show and thank him for his “30” year career as volunteer at Planes of Fame. And to all the volunteers that came together this year to make it a great success!! A job WELL DONE!!

A big shout-out to the Planes of Fame Board of Directors. Tom Nightingale(Chairman), Brian Boyer, Karen Hinton, Steve Hinton, Ed Maloney, John Maloney and Bill Schanz. And a big round of applause to Kevin and Andrea Eldridge, Bob Forbes, Mike McDougal, Bill Muszala.

Special thanks to the pilots who volunteered their time. Pat McGarry, Bob Forbes. John Muszala Jr., Bill Muszala, Mike Eberhardt, Seth Chandler, Ashley Baker, Don Keating, Mike “Maj” Mc Dougal,

Joe Kates  aircraftinc@yahoo.com

Dave Budd  dave_budd@yahoo.com

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