Planes of Fame Staying in Chino

Sixty-year-old museum may expand, but will remain in southern California.

Planes of Fame is keeping its flying artifacts at Chino for now, but there is a possibility of expanding in the near future.Planes of Fame Air Show

There have been recent reports in aviation-related media suggesting that Chino, California-based Planes of Fame Air Museum is considering moving its stellar fleet of airworthy historical artifacts to the Lincoln Regional/Karl Harder Field in Lincoln, California, just north of Sacramento. And with the difficulties the museum has had with its neighbors at the Chino Airport related to its annual Planes of Fame Airshow these reports appear plausible.

However, the museum, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, is definitely staying at Chino, said Planes of Fame director of marketing and development Harry Geier. With a growing number of flying and non-flying artifacts, however, the museum is looking into the possibility of expanding to another location, possibly Lincoln, some time in the next few years. The city of Lincoln required the city council’s approval before a discussion about the possibility of opening a museum at the Karl Harder Field could proceed, prompting the rumors of the move.

Planes of Fame is planning new exhibits in Chino, including a Korean War Memorial and a permanent spot for the Goodyear Blimp gondola. The museum also announced a “major upgrade” to its Aviation Discovery Center, enhancements to the graphic presentations and displays throughout the museum, and the possibility of introducing new digital experiences, audio tours and virtual reality experiences. The Aviation Discovery Program’s curriculum is also expanding, with a continued focus on teaching school children about how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) relates to aviation.

The museum’s annual airshow will be held on May 5 and 6, though there is still a lawsuit pending, attempting to prevent the show. In addition to the airshow, the museum is planning 17 different events this year, most of which are “Living History Flying Days” in which a historical airplane is featured and performs a demonstration flight. Some of the flying treasures featured this year include North American’s B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang, Lockheed’s P-38, Vought’s F4U Corsair and Mitsubishi’s A6M5 Zero.