Airplanes and Helicopters in Our Collection

PCAM is History You Can Touch!

You’ll find a five-acre field covered with authentic, well-cared-for aircraft. You can crawl under them, look inside wheel wells and bomb bays, peer into cockpits, and examine all the details.

You can actually sit in the cockpits of some of them, during our monthly Open Cockpit weekends.

In all cases, we strive to restore and maintain these historic aircraft to represent them during their civilian or military career.

Our aircraft are primarily military, from the Korean War and Vietnam eras through the modern age. All are authentic. Many still have their original engines and all have complete or nearly complete cockpits. Several are equipped with authentic but inert ordnance.

Why do we have so many military aircraft?

Why do we have so many military aircraft? In the early days of the Museum we needed to build up the collection so we accepted whatever aircraft were offered to. The military has historically had a lot of surplus aircraft to dispose of.  Military aircraft have a limited lifespan of a certain number of flight hours. After that, metal fatigue and other factors make the plane unsafe to fly. Other planes simply become obsolete. When a plane or helicopter reaches this point, it must be retired. Options are either scrapping (in which they are disassembled, melted down, and turned into other things), use as training or testing targets (during which some are actually shot at with live ammunition), or display at a museum. We figure that it is far better to display these gallant old aluminum warriors than have them turned into soda cans. Even today there is a considerable number of ex-military aircraft available, and though they can be a handful to restore and maintain, their historical significance is such that they are important additions to our collection.

As an organization and as individuals, we also believe in honoring those military Veterans who risked and sacrificed their lives to keep this country free. We believe that one of the best ways to tell their story is to educate the public about the equipment they used in that fight.

We have several civilian planes that were delivered to us ready or almost ready to fly. Some of those might one day be restored and take to the air again as part of the Flight Wing.

Some aircraft are on loan from other museums or the military itself, most notably the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. We are grateful to these two institutions for their support.

The history of each airplane and helicopter in our collection is known to one degree or another, and many are being actively researched. The descriptions on this website reflect our current knowledge and are often incomplete.

If you know anything about any of the aircraft in our collection, please let us know. We are always eager to create a more complete and accurate history of all our aircraft.

A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACE WITH HISTORY YOU CAN TOUCH!

There’s always something great going on at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. We have Open Cockpit weekends once a month,  special events throughout the year, and regular hot dog lunches. We host school field trips, special group tours, birthday parties, and family get-togethers, all among our collection of historic aircraft and educational exhibits.

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