Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home » Events » Wheels, Tracks, and Wings 2023

This weekend (Saturday May 6th and Sunday May 7th) promises to be one full of fun! Join us for this unique event at the Planes of Fame Air Museum. “Wheels, Tracks, and Wings” brings together military vehicles, historical re-enactors, live demonstrations and presentations, and aircraft flyovers for an event you’ll long remember.



We’re converting the Museum grounds into a military encampment featuring aircraft, military vehicles, and Living Historian re-enactors to create a salute to our military heritage. There will be plenty of food and drink (beer by Hangar 24) and lot’s of activities for the entire family.  Check out this line-up and schedule:


10:00am “HANGAR TALK #1”

We’re starting the first of three “Hangar Talk” events a bit earlier than normal.  We’ve got a terrific opening ceremony planned.  Then we’ll present these stimulating presentations:

History Comes Alive as General Dwight D. Eisenhower Speaks.  

We’re joined by the Historical Unit of Southern California’s David S. Michaels as he portrays General Dwight D. Eisenhower.  David will deliver some of Ike’s moving words that he gave to the troops in June 1944 surrounding the D-Day invasion of continental Europe.






Ted Talk: “Disney Goes to War”

The Museum’s Ted Mount will talk about a little known aspect of the Walt Disney Company during World War II – the creation of thousands of military insignia for units of America’s Armed Forces.  Ted will show us how the Disney Animators used their skills to design some iconic imagery for our air units, sea units, and ground units during the war.








“Feeding an Army: From Mess Halls to Rations”

The Museum’s Brian Finnegan proves the old adage that an Army travels on its stomach as he outlines the history of Army chow during the 20th Century and into the 21st.  Stops along the way include the Mess Hall of World War II, the combat rations of the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam and their evolution into the MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) of today’s soldiers.  We’ll also see how military chow has impacted our own civilian food.






11:30am – FLYING DEMO # 1

North American B-25 “Mitchell” Bomber

The first of our three “Flying Demos” will feature the Museum’s own North American B-25 Medium Bomber.  Dubbed, the “Mitchell” in honor of General Billy Mitchell, the B-25 served in all theaters of World War II.  

A short presentation about the aircraft by the Museum’s David Willis will be followed by the engine start up of the “Mitchell’s” two 1,700 horsepower radial engines.  The aircraft will then taxi away and then fly over the Museum for 20 minutes.  Upon its return, guests can meet and ask questions of the pilot and co-pilot.


12:10pm – HANGAR TALK # 2

Three more presentations take to the stage.  Here’s the line-up:

Aerial Weapons of Terror – the German V-1 Flying Bomb

The Museum’s Alex Mikus will tell the story of one of the terror weapons of World War II – the V-1 Flying Bomb.  Alex will look at the technology behind this weapon as well as the destruction and fear it brought to England for a brief time in 1944.







Tech Notes:  The Amazing Radial Engine

Who better than the Museum’s Ken Saltgaver to walk us down the halls of history to explain the development, advantages, and implementation of the radial aircraft engine.  You’ll walk away with a new sense of appreciation of this fascinating part of so many airplanes from history.







History Comes Alive – “The SBD “Dauntless” and the Battle for the Marianas”

Living Historian Max Harsha will assume the persona of a Naval Aviator onboard USS Enterprise as he take us on a real mission from June 1944 as he outlines the strategy, tactics, and challenges of flying a Dive Bomber from a carrier to attack enemy forces in the Central Pacific.  






1:05pm – FLYING DEMO # 2

Vought F4U-1A “Corsair”

The second of our three “Flying Demos” will feature the Museum’s own World War II combat veteran, the Vought F4U-1A “Corsair.”  One of the most powerful propeller-based fighters ever built, the Corsair saw action with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps and several allied nations.  The Museum’s Corsair – one of the oldest still flying – is a veteran of the South Pacific and the Central Pacific.  

A short presentation about the aircraft by the Museum’s Jim Llano will be followed by the engine start up of the “Corsair’s” 2,000 horsepower radial engine.  The aircraft will then taxi away and then fly over the Museum for 20 minutes.  Upon its return, guests can meet and ask questions of the pilot and co-pilot.


1:50pm – HANGAR TALK # 3

Our final “Hangar Talk” features three more engaging presentations.  Here’s the line-up:

Restoring a Legend – the Ford GPW

Noted warbird photographer and World War II historian Britt Dietz will walk us through his labor of love – the complete restoration of a vintage World War II Jeep.  Britt will outline the history of the Jeep in combat and then take us on a step-by-step journey to bringing an old, decrepit and forgotten frame back to life as one of the best examples of a Jeep you’ll see at “Wheels, Tracks, and Wings.”






Tech Notes:  Inside the Self Sealing Fuel Tank

The Museum’s Tom Green, assisted by Brian Finnegan will tell us how the “self-sealing” fuel tank worked on aircraft of the Second World War.  This fun demo will show how science can come to bear in an important area of combat aircraft.






The Great War – Life in the Trenches

We close this session of Hangar Talk with the Historical Unit of Southern California’s president, Daniel Bermudez showing us a short, moving film that HUSC produced about what life in the trenches of World War One was really like.  Should be a moving tribute to the men who endured horrible hardships in one of the world’s worst conflicts.







M4 Sherman Medium Tank

During World War II, the tank became one of the most important and versatile combat platforms.  All combatants utilized this armored technology, but it was the American’s M4 Sherman that led the charge from D-Day to Berlin.

Join us as we put the Museum’s M4 Sherman through its paces.  Members of the Museum’s Motor Pool will be demonstrating the capabilities and power behind this incredible work horse.  Andrew Lockerbie will narrate from within the Tank as it performs a number of maneuvers, culminating in the firing of her main gun!


3:30pm – FLYING DEMO # 3

Curtiss P-40N “Warhawk”

The final of our three “Flying Demos” will feature the Museum’s own Curtiss P-40N “Warhawk.”  Certainly one of the most iconic aircraft from the Second World War, the “Warhawk” flew in all theaters and variants were flown by the United States Army Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, as well as Air Forces from New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.  The Museum’s aircraft is a veteran of WWII with the Royal Canadian Air Force.  

A short presentation about the aircraft by the Museum’s Ken Saltgaver will be followed by the engine start up of the “Warhawk’s” sleek 1,300 horsepower inline engine.  The aircraft will then taxi away and then fly over the Museum for 20 minutes.  Upon its return, guests can meet and ask questions of the pilot and co-pilot.



We’ll be holding three Raffle Drawings each day for Museum Members (not a bad reason to join the Museum as a Member) for a flight in the Vultee BT-13 “Valiant.”  This aircraft was a Basic Trainer during World War II and one lucky winner will get a 20 minute flight in her.  The drawings will be held at each of the three “Flying Demo” presentations.  Members (and re-enactors and military vehicle owners participating in “Wheels, Tracks, and Wings”) will be eligible for all three daily drawings (winner must be present at the time of the drawing).



Here’s the grand prize of all prizes – your chance to win a flight in a P-51D Mustang!  We’re conducting a Raffle Drawing each day to give away one flight (one on Saturday, one on Sunday) for one lucky Raffle Ticket holder.

Tickets are available for purchase on-site during “Wheels, Tracks, and Wings” (at the Planes of Fame Info Booth).  Tickets are only $20 each (or three for $50).  Tickets purchased on Saturday are eligible for the Saturday Raffle Drawing and Flight.  Tickets purchased on Sunday are eligible for the Sunday Raffle Drawing and Flight.  No limit to the number of tickets you may purchase!

The P-51D “Mustang” Raffle Drawing will be held during the final “Flying Demo” of both days (begins at 3:30pm).  Winner must be present to win.  Normal Living History Flight Experience rules are in effect (inquire at the Planes of Fame Info Booth for this information).



Stroll the Museum’s campus to see our incredible display of aircraft joined by dozens of visiting military jeeps, trucks, and other vehicles from our military past.  Photos are encouraged!

And we got dozens of historical re-enactors in military uniforms putting on demonstrations and telling stories in a real encampment that pays tribute to the soldiers of the First World War, the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam and up to today’s military heroes.  All of this to help you better understand and appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans. 



There is going to be a selection of food offerings, fun treats, and Hangar 24 Beer.

There are ongoing activities such as our Riveting Demo (you won’t want to miss this!) plus several aircraft on display to see up close.

And we’ve got a special area for our younger visitors featuring an Obstacle Course, Model Airplane Workshops, and our famous Bottle Airplane arts and crafts project.

Tickets are on sale now. Don’t be left out!   The 2023 “Wheels, Tracks, and Wings” event on May 6 and May 7 will be a great way to spend the day at Planes of Fame Air Museum.


By becoming a member, you help us to preserve and educate aviation history for generations to come.
Membership ›
Kilroy Coffee Klatch
Kilroy Coffee Klatch - Learn more »
Hangar Talk - Featuring the Flying Demo of the North American F-86F 'Sabre'
Hangar Talk and Flying Demo of the North American F-86F Sabre - Learn more »
Central Coast AirFest 2023
Central Coast AirFest 2023 - Learn more »
Hangar Talk - Featuring the Flying Demo of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis 'Fagot'
Hangar Talk and Flying Demo of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis Fagot - Learn more »
Sign Up to Stay in Touch
Stay up-to-date with upcoming events, Museum happenings, and new additions to our collection.
Enter First Name
Enter Last Name
Enter Email AddressEnter correct Email Address