Before I provide background to the request, the TL;DR ("too long, didn't read") of this is that the Planes of Fame Air Museum (PoF) is asking for any aviation/history enthusiast to please write a note or letter via e-mail indicating your support of their annual air show and your thoughts on why it needs to continue. Responses are urgently needed by this Tuesday, April 4, 2017. There is also an online petition you can sign. I will provide the links at the bottom of this post.
The reason PoF is asking for this is they have recently been sued by other occupants of the airport where PoF operates. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction (court order) to stop the 2017 Planes of Fame Airshow from happening, which is currently scheduled for the weekend of May 6-7, 2017. If the lawsuit prevails, it could cause the permanent cancellation of the air show as well as significant financial harm to the Planes of Fame organization. The plaintiffs are alleging that the air show, which occurs for two days out of the year, causes them severe economic hardship and disruption to their businesses, all of which are located on a public airport. Is it a surprise that one of the plaintiffs just happens to be a competing air museum?
I believe the WitP:AE community can be especially helpful because so many of you understand the context and importance of preserving WW2 aircraft and aviation history much better than the average person, and thus can provide much stronger arguments than simply "don't take our air show away!".
A few things to keep in mind:
1. PoF is asking for written notes/letters and online petition signatures, NOT money/donations. You don't have to spend any money to show support for PoF in their time of need. You can always donate to PoF if you wish via their website, but that is completely optional.
2. This is a world-wide concern. Don't think you need to be a local or US citizen for your voice to matter. In fact, receiving responses from all over the world would make a huge impression that organizations like PoF make an impact globally. PoF's mission of preserving aviation history, in particular WW2 aviation history, is just as important to our international friends as it is to the people living down the street from PoF.
3. Even if you never have the privilege of attending a Planes of Fame air show in person, this show matters because since so many Planes of Fame aircraft are in flyable condition, they often find their way to other air shows, and there are plenty of videos that are produced each year that you can enjoy anywhere in the world via YouTube. Furthermore, if the plaintiffs are successful with this lawsuit, it could set a dangerous precedent that could impact other air shows all over the United States.
4. The air show is important to PoF because it is their primary source of income for the year as a non-profit organization. The lawsuit is asking the court to order the cancellation of the airshow this year and perhaps permanently. PoF relies on the funds generated at the air show as well as the promotion it provides (raising awareness so people donate/volunteer) in order to continue its year-round operations as an air museum open to the public.
5. The notes/letters will help demonstrate to the court the public benefit/service PoF provides to the local and global community and will hopefully help persuade the court to dismiss the lawsuit before the air show has to be cancelled and/or PoF has to spend their finite resources on lawyers instead of restoring aircraft and educating the public.
6. Please spread the word to any other people you believe should know about this - other forums, e-mail, social media, etc. are all good options.
WHAT IS PLANES OF FAME and WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Start with this video:
Planes of Fame Intro Video (Youtube)
Or have 'Lieutenant Dan' tell you why you should support PoF:
Gary Sinise speaks about PoF
How many of you JFB's know all about the A6M5 but have never heard the sound of a real Nakajima? Now you can, and you can thank PoF:
Pearl Harbor Flight featuring PoF A6M5 Zero
The Planes of Fame Air Museum, with locations in Chino, California, and Valle, AZ USA, like most air museums, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving aviation history. It is one of the premiere collections of warbirds in the world.
Its collection includes over 150 aircraft historical aircraft, over 50 of which are FLYABLE and include:
- the only authentic flyable Mitsubishi A6M-5 Zero left in the world, including the original Nakajima Sakae 31 engine, which was captured at Aslito airfield on Saipan and was test flown by Charles Lindbergh stateside during the war
- the only authentic flyable Boeing P-26A Peashooter left in the world
- the only authentic flyable Seversky AT-12 Guardsman left in the world
- the only surviving example of the Northrop N9MB Flying Wing, which is also flyable and to which the B-2 Stealth Bomber directly traces its lineage
- the only example of the Aichi D3A2 Val in the world which will be flyable once restoration is complete
- the only example of the Bell P-59A Airacomet in the world which will be flyable once restoration is complete
- Boeing B-17G currently undergoing restoration to flyable condition
- License-built Spanish Bf-109G-2 currently undergoing restoration to flyable condition
PoF spends much of its money doing the hard work of restoring aircraft not just as static displays, but as FLYABLE aircraft.
You all know how rare even ONE WW2 warbird is these days, much less the ones still airworthy. PoF makes a great effort to make each air show special in some way. Often a particular aircraft is featured and they will invite owners of the type to fly in from all over the world, as well as using their own collection, to make spectacular formation flights.
If you're anything like me, a typical day at the Planes of Fame Air Show is you walk around with your mouth agape the entire time, the snail trail of drool behind you as evidence of everywhere you've been.
Here is a small sampling of photos from previous PoF Air Shows:
Formation of Zeros flying
the PoF Zero is in front, with two recreations formed up on its wings
Formation of P-38s flying
This picture represents something like 1/5 of the total flyable P-38s in the world
Sample of the 2014 air show
Korean War recreation - F-86 and Mig-15
Sample of the 2015 air show
F-22 Heritage Flight
Also from 2015
The best IRL example of Andy's Ironman Nasty scenario I've ever seen
Typical flight line at the show
PoF also does a really good job with their museum displays...
PoF 475th Fighter Group Hangar
That P-38 is flyable - and yes, you can walk right up to it. A large collection of memorabilia about the New Guinea campaign, both Allied and Japanese, lines the sides of the hangar.
PoF CV-6 Enterprise Hangar
This hangar has a walkway and is decorated to give the appearance that you are on the hangar deck of the Enterprise. An Avenger, Hellcat, Corsair, Wildcat, and Dauntless, all fully restored, make rotating appearances here. Memorabilia donated by members of Enterprise's crew line the walkway.
Even some of the 'less than flyable' aircraft are displayed in informative ways - what remains of this Betty is used in an exhibit explaining how Admiral Yamamoto's Betty plane was intercepted and shot down while he toured the Solomons
If that's not enough for you, poke around the Planes of Fame Youtube Channel awhile. You won't be sorry.
A lot of excellent footage from previous air shows can be found at Voodoo1650's Videos.
Last but not least, THE LINKS:
PLEASE E-MAIL YOUR NOTES/LETTERS TO:
ONLINE PETITION CAN BE FOUND AT:
Don't Let Them Stop Your Air Show!
For more information about Planes of Fame, see their website:
Planes of Fame Website
Thank you so much for taking the time to support Planes of Fame!
Edit - fixed e-mail link, various typos
PS - Chino Airport, where PoF operates, was home to Cal-Aero Academy when the US entered WW2. The USAAF contracted with the school to train cadets during the war - so even the airfield is WW2 authentic (with some expansions over the years, of course). It is abstracted in the game as March Field, which is about 25-30 miles east of Chino.
< Message edited by Korvar -- 4/2/2017 2:56:38 AM >