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Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42

by | Apr 27, 2017 | California | 0 comments

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.

Address:
2001 East Avenue P, Palmdale, CA 93550

Hours:
11AM – 4PM on Friday, Saturday, Sunday excluding major holidays, weather permitting

Admission:
Free

Phone:
(661) 267-5611

Website:
cityofpalmdale.org/Airpark

Title Address Description
Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42
2503 E Ave P, Palmdale, CA 93550, USA

Joe Davies

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.

Curtiss C-46D Commando

Curtiss C-46D Commando

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.

Boeing 747-100SR Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

Boeing 747-100SR Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

Other aircraft

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.

Lockheed Martin X-55A Advanced Composite Cargo Airplane prototyp

Lockheed Martin X-55A Advanced Composite Cargo Airplane prototype

Future plans

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.

North American F-100D Super Sabre

North American F-100D Super Sabre

More Photos

About The Author

Igor K.

I am the founder and editor-in-chief of the AirMuseumGuide.com blog. Together with my son - hopefully a future aerospace engineer - we are trying to visit as many aviation and aerospace museums in the US as possible with the ultimate goal of visiting them all. We have been able to visit approximately 60 so far. We are hoping this site will help preserve aviation history and inspire young people to pursue a career in aerospace.

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