Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Events »  Events Calendar »  Hangar Talk, Flying Demo of the General Motors TBM-3E Avenger, and Film Screening of

5th of August, 2023

This Saturday – August 5,, 2023 – marks another edition of “Hangar Talk” with some great topics in store.  The Museum’s TBM “Avenger” will take to the skies and we’re screening a very special documentary film "Heroes on Deck" in our Theater at 1:15pm.

Doors to the Museum will open at 9:00am. Regular admission prices are in effect and Museum Members always get in free!



Here’s What’s Happening During Hangar Talk








To Shorten the Agony of War: The Atomic Bomb Missions of World War II

With the recent theatrical release of “Oppenheimer” and with next week marking 78 years since two atomic bombs were dropped on Japanese cities, we thought it appropriate to revisit our well-received 2019 presentation on the development of the worlds first atomic weapons and missions that played a key role in bringing an end to the Second World War.  The Museum’s Brian Finnegan will present the absorbing story that culminated in the dropping of “Little Boy” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and “Fat Man” on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.








The Towers at Chichi Jima: The Little Known and Almost Forgotten TBM Avenger Mission of World War II.

Planes of Fame’s Richard Malvino will tell the engaging story of a September 1944 Naval aviation mission featuring the General Motors TBM “Avenger.”  The target for the carrier-based “Avengers” was the radio towers on the small Japanese island of Chichi Jima.  This is a story of courage and sacrifice that will also bring home the true horror of the war in the Pacific.








TED Talk: Samuel P. Langley: A Story of Overconfidence

This is a story of what almost might have been.  Samuel P. Langley was a renowned scientist and inventor.  As head of the Smithsonian Institution, his ideas and opinions mattered.  When the Federal government agreed to fund Langley to develop the first practical man-carrying aircraft, Langley approached the challenge brimming with confidence.  The Museum’s Ted Mount will walk us through the ensuing months as Langley and his team work to get their Aerodrome into the sky.  By December, 1903 in Washington D.C., Langley is ready.  But as Ted will show, confidence can quickly get the better of any of us if we’re not careful.






Flying Demo of the General Motors TBM Avenger

At 12:15pm, Scott Cassells of Planes of Fame will present the “Flying Demo of the General Motors TBM “Avenger.”  Scott will give a quick overview of the aircraft and discuss its features and mission types.  

Then pilot John Kerpa will fire up the enormous 1,900 horsepower radial engine directly in front of our visitors.  After John taxi’s the aircraft away, we’ll hold our Member’s Only Raffle Drawing.  Then John will delight us with an aerial demonstration of the “Avenger” in flight for twenty minutes.  Upon return, guests may meet and ask questions of John about what it is like to fly this historic aircraft.


"Heroes On Deck"

Special Film Screening in the Museum Theater at 1:15pm.

We’re thrilled to have been selected by the filmmakers of this outstanding documentary to screen their film in our air-conditioned theater.  The hour-long film tells a little known but fascinating chapter in America’s preparations during World War II – the training of Naval and Marine Corps aviators on Lake Michigan.

Highly acclaimed, the film documents why Lake Michigan was the ideal setting and how the Navy went about converting steamships into lake-bound carriers.  We’ll also follow the filmmakers as they explore the deep bottom of the lake, uncovering a treasure-trove of historic aircraft.  

Your admission to the Museum gets you into the Theater for this screening, but seating is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.  The film will begin promptly at 1:15pm.


In addition to all of the above, we’ll have food trucks on hand, our Museum Guides will tell you the stories of the Museum and its world-renowned collection, they’ll be fun for the kids, and our B-17 will be open for visitors to tour the inside.  A great way to spend the day at Planes of Fame!


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