Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Events »  Events Calendar »  Hangar Talk and Flying Demo of the Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat

3rd of June, 2023

We’ve Got a Great Hangar Talk and Fantastic Flying Demo for June 3, 2023!

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

This month, Hangar Talk promises some engaging and informative presentations. Our Flying Demo features one of the U.S. Navy’s hotrods – the Museum’s Grumman F8F “Bearcat.


Here’s What’s Happening During Hangar Talk

“The Final Option: How the Modern Aircraft Ejection Seat Evolved”

The Museum’s Richard Malvino presents a fascinating look at every military pilots last resort – the Ejection Seat.  Taking us from the early days of flight and the realization that sometimes leaving your aircraft safely meant you lived to fly another day to the era of supersonic aircraft and the realization that you can no longer just “bail out,” the ejection seat has evolved into a sophisticated and powerful tool incorporated into almost every military aircraft.  Richard will walk us through it all in this presentation.




Combat Flying: Vietnam

We’re thrilled to have Dan Petkunas, retired Air Force Colonel join us as our Special Presenter for this month’s event.  Dan will tell us some gripping stories from his years flying combat missions over Vietnam.  We’ll be right there in the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom cockpit with Dan as he relates some of the action from his 222 combat missions.  These actions earned him three Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen Air Medals.  Dan promises to keep us on the edge of our seats!




TED Talk: “A Father’s Legacy: The Edward and ‘Butch’ O’Hare Story”

Just in time for Father’s Day, the Museum’s Ted Mount will take us back to the mean streets of Chicago during the Prohibition days.  We’ll learn of gangsters and the reign of Al Capone. We’ll meet “Easy Eddie” O’Hare – Capone’s trusted lawyer and his young son, Edward – better known to everyone as Butch.  This is a story of love, sacrifice and inspiration that will ultimately take us to incredible heroics in the Pacific War.  





Flying Demo of the Grumman F8F “Bearcat”

This month we’re flying one of the smallest, but also the fastest of the World War II era fighters – the museum’s Grumman F8F “Bearcat.”

Although it arrived too late for combat in the Second World War, the Bearcat served with distinction for the U.S. Navy until the Korean War.  She was the last piston-engine fighter flown by the Navy, replaced by jets in the late 1940s.

The Flying Demo will begin at 12:15pm and feature a brief presentation by Scott Cassells of the Museum followed by engine-start of the Bearcat’s powerful 2,250 horsepower R-2800 radial engine directly in front of the crowd.  

The aircraft will taxi away and then we’ll conduct our “Members Only Raffle” which will feature a free flight in the Museum’s Vultee BT-13B “Valiant.”  

We’ll then thrill to the sights of the “Bearcat” flying over the Museum for twenty minutes and upon its return, guests will be able to ask questions of her pilot.


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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