I have always enjoyed visiting aircraft museums. The one in Palm Springs is nothing short of spectacular. The Western Museum of Flight in Torrance is smaller, but fun to visit. Until 2002, there was a great Museum of Flying on the north end of Santa Monica Airport. Then it closed down. We heard that they were looking for a place to move somewhere in the desert. It appears they never found one.
Then, all of a sudden, we heard that it was re-opening on the south side of Santa Monica Airport. Finally, Martine and I paid it a visit yesterday afternoon. The new Museum of Flying is about one-fourth the size of the old one and focuses heavily on the airport’s history with Douglas Aviation, back when it was named Clover Field. Still it was sufficiently interesting to engage our attention for a few hours.
Among other displays, they had a Russian Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter parked outside (above). The much beloved plane was preferred by Russian pilots over the planes supplied by the United States during the days of Lend-Lease, such as the P-51 Mustang and the Supermarine Spitfire.
It was good to see the Museum of Flying back from the dead. I hope they can accumulate enough money and volunteers to grow back to what they used to be before a greedy landlord snuffed them out of existence to get a higher rent.