Location & history
Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) is located approximately 65 miles north of San Francisco, in Santa Rosa, CA. It was established in 1989, and a battered Douglas A-26C Invader attack bomber of World War II became the first aircraft PCAM obtained, restored and displayed. It was soon followed by a Vought F-8U Crusader, and today the museum features over 35 aircraft, mostly military, as well as indoor exhibits covering an area of 5 acres on the grounds of the Sonoma County Airport.
Pacific Coast Air Museum
|2230 Becker Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, USA|
PCAM takes a different approach to their museum than others, believing that learning about aircraft should be a ‘hands-on’ experience, contrary to most museums which do not want their exhibits touched. Highlights of the PCAM collection include the following: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, North American RF-86F Sabre, McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II, Grumman S-2A Tracker airtanker, Grumman HU-16E Albatross, Northrop F-5E Tiger II, McDonnell Douglas AV-8C Harrier and Ilyushin Il-14 “Crate”. The museum also includes a small building that houses aviation artifacts, models, artwork, and written materials.
The museum is also home to the USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle (#77-102) which was the first fighter response over New York after 9/11. Flown by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Duffy, the jet was scrambled from Otis Air National Guard Base in Falmouth Massachusetts, and flew to Manhattan on full afterburners, arriving at Long Island shortly before the South Tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175. The plane cleared the airspace above New York of all aircraft and established a combat air patrol (CAP) in case of any further attacks.
The museum occasionally features Open Cockpit Weekends, usually once a month, allowing visitors to peer into the interiors of various aircraft in the museum’s collection. In September, the museum also hosts the ‘Wings Over Wine Country’ air show at Sonoma County Airport featuring civilian aerobatic performers, jet demonstration teams, fly-bys of historic WWII aircraft and static displays.
Restoring to flight
Pacific Coast Air Museum also works on restoring some of their historic aircraft to an airworthy status through their ‘Flight Wing’ program, which currently includes a Stinson 108 Voyager, North American T-28C Trojan and Grumman C-1A Trader. The museum also has begun a major fundraiser to build a new, larger and more permanent location for their current and future aircraft collection.