Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Events »  Events Calendar »  Hangar Talk, Junior Aviator's Day, and Flying Demo of the Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless

1st of July, 2023

Special Event Saturday – Junior Aviator’s Day!

Plus “Hangar Talk” & the Flying Demo of the Douglas SBD “Dauntless” 

There are fun adventures in store for everyone at Planes of Fame on Saturday, July 1, 2023 

We kick-off the long 4th of July weekend with a day filled with special activities and fun.  

In addition to another great “Hangar Talk” and our “Flying Demo” of our World War combat veteran, the Douglas SBD “Dauntless,” we’re prepping for a fun-filled Junior Aviator’s Day.

Doors to the Museum open at 9:00am and regular adult admission is in place.  All kids 11 years and younger are admitted FREE all day!

To make the day extra-special, we’ve invited the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) with their “Young Eagles” program to talk about flying and offer FREE introductory flights for kids ages 8 to 17 (parental consent required – flights will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis).


A Special “Hangar Talk” for Everyone

“Hangar Talk” will begin at 10:30am in the Maloney Hangar.  We’ve got two great presentations planned.

Aviation is an industry forged by unique and incredibly talented and bold individuals. Today, the Museum’s Brian Finnegan will look at a man who used his talents and his leadership to transform military combat aviation.

Ed Heinemann is not a household name, but his work for Douglas Aircraft over his sixty-year career produced some of the world’s most successful aircraft, including the Douglas SBD “Dauntless’ the Museum is flying today. We’ll look at the man, his career, the individuals he worked alongside, as well as the litany of aircraft that resulted from his efforts.



It’s Junior Aviator’s Day and what better way to get things going than a fantastic presentation on the fundamentals of flying. We’re joined today by Jim Barry of the Experimental Aircraft Association as he presents, “An Introduction to Aviation.”

In this presentation, Jim will give us a glimpse into the wonders and joy of flight. He’ll discuss how anyone can become a pilot as well as the many career opportunities in aviation. He’ll dive into the important topics of flight – aerodynamics, flight instruments and how they work, the challenges of flying in weather, and the importance of navigation. We’re sure everyone, even the most seasoned of aviators among us, will find Jim’s presentation full of fascinating information and lots of fun.



Junior Aviator’s Events – Fun Activities for All

A “Riveting” Experience – see how airplanes are put together by learning what a “rivet” is and how they work. Kids (of all ages) will get a chance to rivet two pieces of metal together to make their own keepsake to take home.

Build a World War II Fighter Plane in our Junior Modeler Workshops – open to kids 8 thru 17 – This one hour workshop will introduce kids to the fun experience of scale model aircraft building.  A nominal ($5) fee covers materials.  Kids will build their own aircraft model and after the class, they’ll be challenged to take it home, paint it and place decals and send us a photo of the finished model for placement in our honored “Junior Modeler’s Hall of Fame album.  Space is limited so sign up as soon as you arrive.

Stomp Rocket Launches – Get ready for the countdown to launch as you stomp on a plastic soda bottle to send your “rocket” high into the air. Learn about propulsion and the power of air while you see your rocket fly!

H2O Bottle Airplane – for our younger visitors, we’ve got a fun “arts and crafts” project that teaches the fundamentals of what an airplane is all about. During this short activity, our youngest visitors will take a common plastic water bottle and “convert it” into an airplane. In the process, they’ll learn the parts of a plane and a few other fun bits of aviation knowledge.

Off to the Races – Pick your plane and send it zooming down the course in this fun and exciting air race game!  

Bubble-Mania! – Kids of all ages are going to love this – a chance to play with bubbles! Did you know that soap bubbles are actually physical examples of the complex mathematical problem of minimal surface? They are, but all we know is that they’re also fun to play with. Make large ones or small ones and watch them float and fly!

LBJ’s Lodestar – Our team of restoration experts has recently completed the static restoration of the Lockheed L-18 “Lodestar” once owned by Senator (and later President) Lyndon Baines Johnson as his private aircraft. Step inside this personal transport aircraft and go back in time.

Photo Op in an F-86 Cockpit – We’ve got our F-86 Cockpit open for kids of all ages to climb inside and see just the pilot is surrounded by their instruments and controls. Put on a helmet and take a photo for a lasting memory.

Plus More – We’re working on more ideas that should prove fun for all.


History Takes Flight: the Flying Demo of the Douglas SBD “Dauntless”

At 12:15, Ken Saltgaver of the Museum will present our Flying Demonstration with a short presentation about this amazing combat veteran of World War II. The Museum’s SBD-5, one of only a handful of surviving “Dauntless” aircraft, flew with the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the United States Marine Corps in engagements throughout the South Pacific in World War II. Historically, the Dauntless was the hero of the June 1942 “Battle of Midway.”  

Following Ken’s presentation, our pilot will fire up the “Dauntless’” powerful radial engine to give everyone a thrill. The aircraft will then taxi away and fly over the Museum for twenty minutes.

We’ll also be holding our “Member’s Only” raffle contest for a flight in our North American SNJ “Texan” for one lucky winner.


Introductory Flights for Kids Courtesy of the EAA “Young Eagles”

Here’s a chance for your child to take their first flight in an airplane. The “Young Eagles” program of the EAA is the only program of its kind, with the sole mission to introduce and inspire kids into the world of aviation.

Since its launch in 1992, over 2.3 million young people have enjoyed these free introductory flights through “Young Eagles.” Many of these have gone on to earn their wings or pursue a career in aviation.

We’ll be offering a limited number of FREE flights, flown by qualified volunteer pilots, during Junior Aviator’s Day. We’re holding these flights on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify, each child must be between eight and seventeen years old. They must have a completed registration form signed by their parent or legal guardian.  


* Submitting this form helps to reserve a seat on a flight but does not guarantee your child(ren) a seat during this event. We will do our best to accommodate everyone.


Barbeque, Mexican Food, and Ice Cream

We’ve got several food options and a great selection of ice cream treats for everyone.

Your ticket gets you access to all seven of our hangars and the over 100 aircraft and historical memorabilia on display. Our Museum Guides are on hand to tell you the stories of these aircraft and the personalities and events that surround them.

All in all, Saturday, July 1, 2023 at the Planes of Fame Air Museum is a great way to spend the day!


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