Castle Air Museum

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Castle Air Museum
CAM Foundation.PNG
Castle Air Museum is located in California
Castle Air Museum
Magnify-clip.png
Location within California
Established1981
Location5050 Santa Fe Drive
Atwater, California 95301
Coordinates37°21′53″N 120°34′41″W / 37.36475°N 120.577944°W / 37.36475; -120.577944
TypeMilitary Aviation
Websitewww.castleairmuseum.org
 
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Castle Air Museum
CAM Foundation.PNG
Castle Air Museum is located in California
Castle Air Museum
Magnify-clip.png
Location within California
Established1981
Location5050 Santa Fe Drive
Atwater, California 95301
Coordinates37°21′53″N 120°34′41″W / 37.36475°N 120.577944°W / 37.36475; -120.577944
TypeMilitary Aviation
Websitewww.castleairmuseum.org

Castle Air Museum is a military aviation museum located in Atwater, California, United States adjacent to the site of the former Castle Air Force Base. It is one of the largest aerospace museums displaying vintage aircraft in the western United States.

History and information[edit]

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The museum opened in 1981, and currently displays 54 restored World War II, Korean War, and Cold War era aircraft. The outdoor museum covers 11 acres (45,000 m2), and among the exhibit highlights are a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (one of only 19 surviving), a Boeing B-52D Stratofortress, and the massive, ten-engined Convair B-36, one of only four surviving and the largest mass-produced piston aircraft in history. An indoor museum features photographs, uniforms, war memorabilia, aircraft engines, and a flight deck. A crew of 35 volunteers restore and maintain the aircraft on display.[1] The museum also hosts a periodic "open cockpit day" in which visitors can actually view the interiors of certain planes.

In May 2008, the museum reached its 50th displayed aircraft milestone with the addition of a Douglas A-4L Skyhawk. The aircraft was shipped to the museum in August 2006, and restored at a cost of $12,000.[1]

Hidden aircraft collection[edit]

Castle Air Museum has several aircraft that cannot be displayed outdoors, as their fabric coverings do not hold up in the San Joaquin Valley weather. The museum is working to raise funds for a suitable building to display these and other items that they do not presently have indoor space to display.[2]

Restoration efforts[edit]

The museum has recently received three new planes which are currently under restoration before they will be displayed on the museum grounds:

Alleged paranormal occurrences[edit]

Boeing B-29A Superfortress

The B-29A Super Fortress exhibit is reported to be haunted by a spirit named "Arthur". Museum management has reported that visitors, including paranormal investigators, have heard knocking and footsteps from inside the plane. In addition, lights in the aircraft have been known to turn on and off and the propellers are known to turn even though they are locked into place. An apparition has been photographed on several occasions, and paranormal researchers have detected anomalous readings on equipment.[3] The paranormal occurrences have been featured on an episode of UPN's Real Ghosts (1995).

Aircraft on display[edit]

NameFunctionCrew
Avro Vulcan B.2Strategic/Nuclear Bomber5
Avro-Canada CF-100 CanuckInterceptor/Fighter2
Beech C-45G ExpeditorUtility/Trainer2
Beech T-34 MentorTrainer2
Boeing B-17G Flying FortressBomber10
Boeing B-29A SuperfortressBomber11
Boeing B-47E StratojetBomber3
Boeing B-52D StratofortressBomber6
Boeing KC-97L StratofreighterTanker/Cargo transport5
Boeing KC-135A StratotankerTanker/Cargo transport4
Boeing WB-50D SuperfortressWeather Reconnaissance/Bomber11
Cessna O-2A Super SkymasterObservation1
Cessna U-3A Blue CanoeUtility/Light transport1
Consolidated B-24M Liberator (44-41916)Bomber8–10
Convair 240 (HC-131A) SamaritanTransport3
Convair F-102A Delta DaggerInterceptor1
Convair F-106A Delta DartFighter-Interceptor1
Convair RB-36H PeacemakerStrategic Bomber/Reconnaissance22
Curtiss C-46D CommandoCargo/Transport4
DeHavilland-Canada U-6A BeaverLight Utility Transport1
Douglas A-4L SkyhawkAttack Fighter1
Douglas A-26B InvaderAttack Bomber2–4
Douglas B-18 BoloBomber6
Douglas B-23 DragonBomber6
Douglas C-47A SkytrainCargo/Transport5
Douglas RA-3B SkywarriorPhotographic Reconnaissance/Bomber3
Douglas R5D-4 SkymasterTransport4
Fairchild C-119C Flying BoxcarTroop/Cargo transport6
Fairchild C-123K ProviderAssault Transport2
General Dynamics FB-111A AardvarkStrategic Bomber2
Grumman F-14D TomcatFighter2
Grumman HU-16B AlbatrossSearch and Rescue Amphibian4
Kaman HH-43B HuskieUtility/Rescue/Fire Fighting2–4
Kawasaki KAQ-1Target DroneNone
Lockheed C-56 LodestarCargo/Executive Transport3
Lockheed F-80B Shooting StarFighter1
Lockheed F-104D StarfighterFighter1
Lockheed SR-71 BlackbirdReconnaissance2
Lockheed T-33A Shooting StarTrainer2
Martin EB-57E CanberraElectronic Warfare/Tactical Bomber2
McDonnell F-4E Phantom IIFighter/Bomber2
McDonnell Douglas F-15A EagleFighter1
McDonnell F-101B VoodooFighter/Bomber2
North American B-25J MitchellBomber6
North American B-45A TornadoBomber4
North American F-86H SabreFighter-Bomber1
North American F-100C Super SabreFighter-Bomber1
North American T-6 TexanAdvanced Trainer2
North American T-39A SaberlinerTrainer4-5
Northrop T-38 TalonTrainer2
Northrop F-89J ScorpionFighter-Interceptor2
Republic F-84F Thunder StreakFighter-Bomber1
Republic F-105B ThunderchiefFighter-Bomber1
Vought RF-8A CrusaderFighter/Reconnaissance1
Vultee BT-13 ValiantBasic Trainer2

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°21′53.1″N 120°34′40.6″W / 37.364750°N 120.577944°W / 37.364750; -120.577944