Guests at the Planes of Fame Museum this Saturday will have the opportunity to take plenty of photos with the Warhawk as the doors open at 10:00 am. At 11:30 am, museum staff will tow the P-40 to the hot ramp area and give a brief introduction to this remarkable… active aircraft, and fly over the Museum making numerous passes until 12:30 pm. After returning to the Museum, guests will have the opportunity to chat with the pilot.
The Museum’s P-40 rolled out of the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, New York, in the spring of 1943. It made its military career exclusively in the RCAF to defend Canada’s borders, with occasional forays into real fights. In fact on March 10, 1945, with Pilot Officer JO Patten at the controls, this Kittyhawk Mk. IV destroyed a Japanese “Fu-Go” incendiary balloon bomb 13,500 feet above Salt Spring Island, in British Columbia. After the war, the aircraft passed several civilian owners without incident. However, following a cloud-seeding flight near Denver, Colo. In 1958, the aircraft made a landing with the gear down which caused substantial damage – too much for repair. economic flight conditions at the time. The museum acquired the Kittyhawk in 1960, the restaurant initially on static display, but they began more extensive restoration in flight condition in 1977; the first flight took place in October 1980. The hunter has flown regularly since then and has made appearances in several films including Pearl Harbor and Valkyrie. It is currently painted to represent the 325th Fighter Group when the unit was active in the North African campaign in early 1943.
Discounted admission to the Museum is still in place. In addition, a A gourmet taco truck will be on site, as will a coffee service and smoothies. There will be a used book sale and there are lots of new merchandise in the gift shop. Stroll around the museum’s campus, visit historical reenactments, see the B-17 up close, and listen to museum guides tell interesting stories about the museum’s extensive collection of airplanes and artifacts.