Planes of Fame Air Museum was founded in 1957 by Edward T. Maloney and was the first air museum west of Mississippi. It was initially located in Claremont, California, and was simply called “The Air Museum” at that time. It was relocated twice before the growing collection of aircraft and aviation memorabilia was finally moved in 1973 to the Chino Airport which served as an Army Air Corp training facility during WWII.
Today the museum owns over 150 aircraft, with about 30 in a flyable condition such as a North American P-51A Mustang, the only Northrop N9MB Flying Wing, a Boeing P-26A Peashooter, a Lockheed P-38J Lightning, and a Republic P-47G Thunderbolt. The museum’s collection of Japanese aircraft is the largest of its type in the world including the only flying Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter with its original Sakae engine and an Aichi D3A featured in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! (referral link).
There are multiple restoration projects underway at the museum to further expand the inventory of flyable aircraft such as the: Boeing B-17G, Bell P-59A Airacomet, Grumman OV-1 Mohawk and many others.
The museum flies most of its airworthy aircraft during the annual Planes Of Fame Airshow – the largest gathering of warbirds in the western US. The museum’s airplanes can also be seen flying during other airshows in Southern California and beyond, or at the monthly “Living History Flying Day” events.
In 1995 an additional display facility with over 40 of the Museum’s aircraft was opened in Valle, Arizona, halfway between Williams, Arizona and the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Planes of Fame shares the Chino Airport with the Yanks Air Museum.