This Saturday – December 2, 2023 – we’ve got an outstanding series of presentations for “Hangar Talk” and a very special “Flying Demo” as we fly the Museum’s rare
Mitsubishi A6M5 “Zero” fighter aircraft from World War II. This true international treasure will take to the skies at 12:15pm for everyone to see and enjoy.
Doors to the Museum will open at 9:00am. Regular admission prices are in effect and Museum Members always get in free!
Hangar Talk Begins at 10:30am
We’ve got some fascinating subject matter for our December 2023 “Hangar Talk” – much of it looking back at events from December dates in aviation history.
Medal of Honor Series: A General’s Sacrifice
We continue our ongoing series focused on one of the most prestigious awards in the world – the Congressional Medal of Honor. This month we turn back to Christmas Eve, 1944 and one of the largest allied bombing missions ever attempted – over 2,000 bombers and nearly 1,000 fighters headed from England into the heart of Nazi Germany. This is the story of one aircraft and its crew on that fateful mission – and how the courage of one man helped to save the lives of others.
“Two Smart Guys from Dayton” Exploring the Secrets of the Wright Brothers’ Success
The Museum’s Brian Finnegan will take us back 120 years to December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and the birth of a revolution. But first, we’ll start with the years preceding that cold December morning. In 1899, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio – Wilbur and Orville Wright –set a goal to build the first successful man-carrying flying machine. The next three years would be a period of research, scientific exploration, and learning for the brothers, culminating in the first successful, heavier-than-air, manned and controlled flight of a human being on December 17, 1903. We’ll see the clever and innovative ways the Wright’s achieved this feat and forever changed the world.
Apollo 8: NASA’s Risky Mission to the Moon
The Museum’s Jim Llano will take us back to December 1968 for a look at the first “true” space mission to the moon. As NASA struggled to keep President John F. Kennedy's goal of placing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s, a bold decision was made to accelerate America’s moon landing program. Up until then, the Apollo program had only performed Earth orbit missions, but now, the idea was to push harder and send a manned spacecraft into the moon’s orbit. The mission was given a fifty-percent chance of success. This is the story of Apollo 8.
Ted Talk: “Hiroyoshi Nishizawa – A Warrior’s Heart”
With our Mitsubishi Zero taking to the sky, the Museum’s Ted Mount focuses his presentation on one of the more successful fighter pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy – Hiroyoshi Nishizawa. Despite poor health and a relatively frail nature, Nishizawa was driven by a "warrior's spirit" to overcome these limitations and in turn become one of Japan's great aces of the war. Ted will look at his short career and show us how hard work and determination can bring success in any field.
Flying Demo of the Mitsubishi A6M5 “Zero”
At 12:15pm, David Willis of the Museum will present the “Flying Demo” of the Mitsubishi A6M5 “Zero.” David will briefly detail the history of the Zero in World War II and talk about this aircraft – the only authentic Japanese Zero remaining in the world.
Following David’s presentation, Pilot Johnny Maloney will fire up the 1,130 horsepower Nakajima Sakae radial engine directly in front of the crowd. After Johnny taxis the aircraft away, we’ll hold our Member’s Only Raffle Drawing for some great prizes, including a flight in the Museum’s Vultee BT-13B “Valiant.” Then Johnny will delight us with an aerial demonstration of the Zero through a flight over the Museum for twenty minutes. Upon return, guests may meet and ask questions of Johnny and learn first-hand what it’s like to fly one of the world’s rarest aircraft.
In addition to all of the above, we’ll have food trucks on hand, the Gift Shop is stocked with plenty of Holiday Gift ideas, 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!