It was a beautiful winter day over France in February of 1959, with the bright sunshine of a clear blue sky glistening off the snow-covered Alps. Lyon Air Museum Docent Jim Buehner skillfully guided a sleek F-100D Super Sabre fighter over the French-Swiss border, just west of Geneva. Jim was flying the aircraft to Wheelus Air Force Base (AFB) in Libya for repairs, and flying along with him were two other F-100s scheduled for gunnery training in the vast deserts south of Tripoli.
Some people are surprised to learn that Lyon Air Museum also doubles as a banquet hall in Orange County.
After a recent wedding reception that we hosted in our event space, a guest commented “I had no idea this place was also an event venue! I had been here once before with my kids just to see the planes, but the way the museum lights up at night is absolutely breathtaking.”
The date September 2nd, 1945, marks a momentous occasion for veterans and family members of America’s Greatest Generation. On this date, known as VJ Day, the Allied powers celebrated victory over the Japanese Empire and the formal end of World War II. The United States emerged from this epic struggle as the unchallenged leader of the free world and the champion of democratic institutions across the globe.
Lyon Air Museum Docent Bud Carter vividly remembers when, as a young teenager, his life changed forever. “On December 6, 1941 my biggest worry was whether or not my high school girlfriend was going to go to a school dance with me the following week. The next day, December 7, my biggest worry became how I was going to fight for my country. When I went to school the following Monday, half the boys were gone. They were in Los Angeles, enlisting in the military. In one weekend, my life and the course of this entire country changed forever.”
To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Lyon Air Museum has completed a new historical display that celebrates the contribution of naval aviation to America’s victory in the Pacific during World War II. This is the first of two historical displays that will chronicle the Air War in the Pacific. Part II of the exhibit, now in development, will tell the story of the U.S. Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
On October 25th, 2016 Bob Hoover slipped the mortal bounds of earth and embarked on his last, and greatest flight. He was 94 years old.
To simply call him one of the greatest airplane pilots who ever lived would be a colossal understatement. He was a bonafide legend - combat fighter pilot of World War II and Korea, renowned test pilot and famed aerobatic performer. Most important of all he was a true gentleman, and gentle soul.
Among the hulking bombers and attack aircraft on display at Lyon Air Museum sits a small, rather innocuous airplane. There is no bomb bay or mounted guns, and the two rockets hanging under each wing produce not explosions upon impact with a target, but billowing clouds of white smoke. In place of roaring radial power plants is a horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine producing a little over 200 horsepower.