This coming Saturday, September 4, 2021, visitors at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California will have the chance to see their Curtiss P-40N Warhawk fly over the airfield. While built towards a U.S. Army Air Forces’ contract as 42-105192, this airframe performed its military service primarily with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), where the P-40N was more properly known as a Kittyhawk Mk.IV. It’s Canadian serial number was RCAF 858.
Guests at the Planes of Fame Museum this Saturday will have the opportunity to take plenty of pictures with the Warhawk when the doors open at 10:00 am. At 11:30 am, museum staff will tow the P-40 out to the hot ramp area and provide a brief presentation about this remarkable aircraft… then she’ll start her 1,200 horsepower, 12 cylinder Allison V-1710, taxi out to the active, and fly over the Museum, performing numerous passes until 12:30 pm. Following her return to the Museum, guests will have an opportunity to talk with the pilot.
The Museum’s P-40 rolled off the Curtiss factory line in Buffalo, New York during the spring of 1943. She served her military career exclusively with the RCAF in defense of the Canadian borders, with occasional forays into actual combat. Indeed on March 10, 1945, with Pilot Officer J.O. Patten at the controls, this Kittyhawk Mk. IV destroyed a Japanese “Fu-Go” fire-balloon bomb at 13,500 feet over Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Post-war, the aircraft passed through several civilian owners without incident. However, following a cloud-seeding flight near Denver, Colorado during 1958, the aircraft made a gear-up landing which caused substantial damage – too much for economic repair to flying condition at the time. The museum acquired the Kittyhawk in 1960, restoring it initially to static display, but they began a more in-depth restoration to flying condition in 1977; the first flight took place in October, 1980. The fighter has flown regularly ever since and made appearances in several motion pictures including Pearl Harbor and Valkyrie. It is presently painted to represent the 325th Fighter Group when the unit was active in the North Africa Campaign during early 1943.
Discounted admission to the Museum is still in place. Furthermore, a gourmet taco truck will be on hand as will coffee service, and smoothies. A Used Book sale will be taking place and there is plenty of new merchandise in the Gift Shop. Stroll the Museum’s campus, visit with re-enactors, see the B-17 up close, and listen to Museum Guides recount interesting stories about the Museum’s extensive collection of aircraft and artifacts.
This Saturday’s event at Planes of Fame will be a great way to kick off the holiday weekend, one which everyone attending will long remember! For more information about this event, please visit www.planesoffame.org