Lyon Air Museum, a world class showcase of historic aircraft and vintage automobiles, is scheduled to perform at the Huntington Beach Air Show, with a rare, World War Two C-47 Skytrain aircraft. The air show takes place along the shore of Huntington Beach, California on October 5-6, with a practice day on the 4th. The show is the only beachfront air show scheduled on the West Coast and is the first air show to take place in Huntington Beach since the 1990s.
The “Skytrain,” or “Dakota,” as it was called in British and Commonwealth service, was developed from the DC-3 airliner, and served as a military transport, carrying troops and cargo and towing gliders. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, once claimed the C-47 was one of the most vital pieces of military equipment used in winning the war. The “Gooney Bird,” as it was informally known as in the European Theater of Operations, went on to serve with distinction in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The C-47’s role in the successful Allied invasion of Nazi Occupied France on June 6, 1944 was perhaps its finest moment in its long history. In just two hours, over 800 unarmed C-47s delivered over 13,000 paratroopers into Normandy in the opening hours of D-Day. It also towed gliders full of men and equipment, and dropped desperately needed cargo to the troops on the ground.
Lyon Air Museum’s C-47B, “Willa Dean,” is one of the most original and best preserved C-47s in existence.
Lyon Air Museum represents the realization of a dream of founder General William Lyon of William Lyon Homes, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif. As a former combat pilot, and ultimately Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979, his passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum. In establishing the museum, General Lyon has created a world-class facility, offering educational tours and displays to inspire young people. The Museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational historic aircraft and vehicles.