The Lyon Aviation Museum

January 28, 2010 by Craig Fuller

This week I had the chance to spend some time in Southern California, talking aviation and meeting with people who are as passionate about flying as you and I. One of the highlights was a visit to the beautiful Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

The museum was started by retired Air Force Major General William Lyon–a pilot with vast experience in both the military and civilian arenas–to inspire and share the stories of aviation’s past. The collection is quite remarkable, as is the talented man who assembled it. Maj. Gen. Lyon has achieved professional success in the military, real estate, home building, and banking industries, among other ventures. But aviation must be counted among his true passions, and the museum is a powerful testament to that.
 

Museum President Mark Foster shows me around the impessive exhibits.
Museum President Mark Foster shows me around the impessive exhibits.

Among the aircraft on display is a B-17 Flying Fortress named “Fuddy Duddy” that once carried General Dwight Eisenhower, then served as a fire bomber, and later made several movie appearances, including in “Tora Tora Tora.”

There’s also a DC-3 and a North American B-25 bomber among other beautifully restored military planes. There’s even a collection of military cars and motorcycles, including a motorcycle with tank-style tracks that was sometimes used to tow aircraft.

A variety of military vehicles, aircraft, and motorcycles bring history to life.

A variety of military vehicles, aircraft, and motorcycles bring history to life.

Museums like this one are great showcases for the history–and even the future–of aviation. You can learn more about the museum on its website (www.lyonairmuseum.org), and if you’re in the area, I encourage you to go and take a look. It’s well worth a visit.

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