The Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAFSoCal) based at the Camarillo Airport (CMA), is planning a major expansion expected to cost around $10 million. To kick off the construction of a new hangar facility, the organization has received a $1 million donation from local antenna and sensors manufacturers Si and Betty Robin, and a $375,000 grant from the CAF headquarters in Midland, Texas, said Steve Barber, executive officer for CAFSoCal.
The reason for the expansion is the desire to create a first class museum and to provide additional space for a growing number of artifacts. “We have run out of museum display space, artifacts storage, maintenance/restoration hangars and office space,” Barber said. The initial plan includes the addition of a multi-story museum complex that would include a theatre, gift shop, restaurant and entertainment spaces. A display hangar east of the museum complex would house the aircraft, some of which are still in flying condition. Additional maintenance hangar space is also in the plans.
At this time, CAFSoCal has 12 World War II-era aircraft, eight of which are in flying condition. Airplanes include a Curtiss C-46F Commando, a Mitsubishi Zero, a Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, a Grumman F6F Hellcat, and a North American P-51 Mustang.
The museum will remain open during the development of the new facility. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the meantime, the artifacts that are not on display are being stored in a building formerly used by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Training Center.
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