SANTA ANA, Calif., August 16, 2010—Lyon Air Museum, a premier Southern California showcase for vintage WW II-era aircraft and automobiles, will play host to a visiting P-51D Mustang fighter aircraft early Labor Day Weekend, Friday, Sept. 3 and Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, at LAM’s facility located at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.

The P-51D Mustang long-range fighter plane is owned by Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino, Calif. The P-51D Mustang will arrive at John Wayne Airport during the late afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 2. The aircraft will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, when it is scheduled to depart for its return flight to Chino.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people in Southern California to visit, explore and learn more about this remarkable aircraft from aviation history,” said LAM president Mark Foster.

The P-51D Mustang has a colorful background that LAM’s docents will discuss with visitors. The docents are knowledgeable guides who conduct visitors through the museum and share information on the exhibitions.

The P-51 Mustang is an American-made long-range single-seat WW II fighter aircraft. When North American Aviation first built the P-51, the company (now a part of the Boeing Company) was a major U.S. manufacturer responsible for a number of historic aircraft.

As well as being economical to produce, the Mustang was a fast, well-made fighting machine. The definitive P-51, the model P-51D is powered by a Packard V-1650 engine, a two-stage two-speed supercharged version of the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. During combat, the plane was armed with six .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns.

Designed and built in just 117 days, the Mustang first flew in England’s Royal Air Force (RAF) service as a fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It was later converted to a bomber escort, employed from early 1944 in raids over Germany to help ensure Allied air superiority. The P-51 also saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. The Mustang began the Korean War as the United Nations’ main fighter aircraft, but was relegated to a ground attack role when superseded by jet fighters early in the conflict.

After WW II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing. Nevertheless, the plane remained in military service with some national air forces until the early 1980s. Nearly 150 of the original P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft currently remain flying.

The P-51D Mustang that will be on display at LAM in Orange County Sept. 3-4, 2010, has belonged to Planes of Fame Air Museum since 1957. The museum was founded by Edward T. Maloney as The Air Museum in Claremont, Calif. in January 1957. The first aviation museum on the U.S. West Coast, it was moved to Chino, Calif. in 1973.

Lyon Air Museum (LAM) is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707. P: 714/210-4585. F: 714/210-4588. Email: Web:

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily – Seven Days a Week. Admission rates: General admission–$8; Seniors and Veterans–$6; Ages 5-17–$4; Under age 5—Free. Groups of 10 or more–$1 off each visitor. Pre-arranged school groups—Free.

Media Contact:
Ned Madden
Rodheim Marketing Group