Lyon Air Museum of Santa Ana, California has announced that they have acquired an airworthy North American AT-6F/SNJ-6 Texan to be added to their growing collection of airworthy warbirds. Founded by Major General William Lyon, the Lyon Air Museum is co-located with Martin Aviation, an Air/Lyon Inc. company and award-winning general aviation repair facility established by the famed Eddie Martin in 1923.
The museum’s latest addition, North American SNJ-6 N45CK, left the production line in 1960 and had been previously restored, when in June of 2006, it struck power lines near American Falls, Idaho. According to the NTSB Accident Report, the plane, which was enroute to Jerome, Idaho from Afton, Wyoming, when the pilot found it too cold at his cruising altitude of 8500′ MSL, so he descended to warmer altitudes, following the path of Snake River, cruising “about 100 feet” above its surface. According to the report, while following along the river, he noticed three wooden poles and a crossbeam located along the edge of the river, and though he claims he did not see wires, he “made the immediate assumption that there were wires.” He pulled up and heard a loud bang as the airplane struck the transmission lines. He also saw a blue flash. After determining that the airplane was “able to continue safe flight,” he made the decision to proceed to his planned destination, where he was able to make a normal landing.
Upon landing, inspection of the plane revealed a damaged engine cowl and both wings had been pretty badly torn up. The plane was taken in for complete restoration and overhaul with Airpower Unlimited, in Jerome and new wings were built with new spars and skins. The plane was recently offered for sale by Platinum Fighter Sales, with an asking price of $325,000.00, and looking at the photos there, it’s clear that this plane has been restored to triple-diamond condition.
Here’s some amazing footage of the Museum’s new SNJ-6, shot as a promotional video for Dolby Laboratories as a demo reel for their professional line of high performance reference monitors, and it’s truly a sight to behold!
The aerials were shot from an Aérospatiale A-Star helicopter, over the Santa Monica Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and Catalina Island, all near Los Angeles. The runway shown is at Catalina Airport, a private strip built on the top of a mountain, 1,600 feet above sea level. The ground photography was done at Santa Paula Airport, a small airfield about 45 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The SNJ-6 will be joining an already impressive collection of airworthy warbirds at the Lyon Air Museum, including the Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, “Fuddy Duddy,” a North American B-25J Mitchell “Guardian of Freedom,” the Douglas A-26B Invader, “Feeding Frenzy,” a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, “Willa Dean,” and a Douglas DC-3 that started life as a C-47 and served as a troop transport on D-Day at Normandy, “Flagship Orange County,” as well as a Cessna O-1E “Bird Dog.” The museum also houses a collection of WWII-era military vehicles, Military motorcycles and civilian automobiles.