Location & history
Visitors to Joe Davies Heritage Airpark can view a collection of aircraft designed, produced, tested, or modified at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. The plant was established in 1953 by the U.S. Air Force as an advanced development facility and today is a home to The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Northrop Grumman and is also used by the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Many famous airplanes were developed or tested here including the North American XB-70 Valkyrie, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42
|2503 E Ave P, Palmdale, CA 93550, USA
The museum is named after Joe Davies, a former commander of Plant 42 and a USAF pilot in Vietnam. He also worked for 20 years with North American Aviation, Rockwell International, The Boeing Company and was a member of the Palmdale City Council.
Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
The largest aircraft on display is a Boeing 747-100SR-46 that was used by NASA as a Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). It was originally built in 1973 as a commercial airliner for Japan Air Lines. NASA purchased the aircraft in 1989 and after heavy modifications it started its service a year later as a NASA 911 aircraft. This specific SCA flew 17 ferry flights delivering the shuttle to the Kennedy Space Center after landing at Edwards AFB. The other SCA is now on display at the Johnson Space Center’s visitor center in Houston.
The airpark also displays over 20 retired military aircraft on static display including a Curtiss C-46D Commando, Boeing B-52D Stratofortress, Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft, Douglas YA-4C Skyhawk, McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom, Northrop F-5E Tiger II, Republic F-105G Thunderchief and many others.
When fully developed, the airpark will showcase over 40 retired military and civilian aircraft. Future aircraft at the Airpark may include a F-117 Nighthawk, F-102 Delta Dagger, B-2 Spirit, Boeing 767, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and a X-31 Enhanced Fighter. While visiting this museum make sure to also stop by at the Blackbird Airpark next door, a small annex of the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB.