Programs - Palm Springs Air Museum


Most Programs have flight exhibitions, depending on weather and mechanical issues.*
Sponsorship Opportunities Available – call 760-482-1836 for info

Open Cockpit Saturdays from 10:30 – 12:30 pm

Museum guests are treated to the extra special experience of being allowed to sit at the controls and pose for pictures. From 10:30-12:30 each Saturday all summer long, a selected aircraft will be opened up and made accessible to the public Museum Volunteers will also be on hand to answer questions and provide the historical back drop for the aircraft you are sitting in.

Guests are strongly cautioned to dress appropriately for climbing into the planes and also reminded not to leave their cameras at home. This is a rare experience that you’ll want to remember forever.

Suggested $5 donation for the open cockpit experience includes  souvenir Air Museum provided photograph. Air Museum admission also applies. The Palm Springs Air Museum reserves the right to refuse access to anyone deemed to be a hazard to themselves, other guests/staff and/ or the aircraft.

Sept 5th: Spitfire Mk XIV
Sept 12th:  F4F Wildcat
Sept 19th:  F7F Tigercat
Sept 26th :T-33 Shooting Star

2015-2016 Our Heroes RETURN Commemorative Programs

Flight exhibitions are scheduled with most events, but please realize that these are vintage planes subject to maintenance surprises and weather delays, so there is the possibility that a flight may be cancelled at the last moment.

Sat, Oct 24 – 1 PM:  Stories from Vietnam: Once Upon a Mulberry Field
Author C.L. Hoang was born and raised in South Vietnam during the war and came to the United States in the 2970. Books, history and travel are his hobbies, and “Once Upon a Mulberry Field”, a love story set at the height of the Vietnam War is his first novel – a project from the heart that took six years to complete. Come learn more about this fascinating work and the real life experiences that inspired it.

Sat, Oct 31: Halloween Themed Chili Cook-Off & Car Show
Join the fun at the 8th annual Chili Cook-Off and Car Show. Volunteers from the various sections of the Museum will cook up their favorite chili recipes and you get to decide which is best. It will be a ghoulish fest for the eyes and tummy.

Ongoing: Nov 7th-May 31st: “Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam” Exhibition presents the stories, through graffiti left on a troopships’s bunk canvases of young American soldiers and Marines going to Vietnam during the 1960s. Their stories reflect the attitudes and events during a turbulent decade of our nation’s history – the 1960s.

Fri, Nov 6th: (6 PM) Super Sabre F-100 sneak preview dedication and Pilots Gathering – reception – RSVP – $15 members, $20 non-members and $25 at the door

Sat, Nov 7th: Museum’s 19th Anniversary and Veterans’ Day Celebration
Palm Springs Air Museum celebrates its 19th anniversary with a thanks to all who served Our Country. Join us for a day filled with flight exhibitions, musical performances, birthday cake, WWII re-enactors and activities for the kids. At 1 PM we unveil our newly restored F-100 Super Sabre and have a special tribute to all who maintained and flew this fabulous machine.

Sat, Nov 21st, 12 noon to 4 PM – Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival
Join us for our 4th annual festival featuring Craft Breweries from Southern California, plus local music acts, food vendors and flight exhibitions. MUST have proof of age 21 or over – NO minors – $40 includes beer tastings and live music. Special Cicerone Rare Beer tastings while flying in a DC-3 over the Valley are additional, with limited availability.  Visit for more information.

Sat, Nov 28 – 1 PM: Military History of the Salton Sea
From pre-war flying boats to nuclear bomb testing and then parachute development in the mid 1970s, our Salton Sea has seen its fair share of military history. Come and learn about a little known piece of local history that very few people appreciate or are even aware.   Presenter: Sid Burks

SUN, Dec 6th  at 1 PM: Pearl Harbor: “Attack on Battleship Row – The event that changed Naval and World History”
This program will cover the aerial attack on our battleships at anchor, the planes involved, and the strategic failures on both sides. It will conclude with the personal stories of some of the participants. Join us as we remember this date that will “live in infamy.” Presenter: Michael Carra

Sat, Dec. 12 at 1 PM:  Secret and Dangerous: Night of the Son Tay POW Raid
As a little-known piece of Viet Nam history, raid knowledge and its lessons lay dormant for too long; especially the nagging glitches that were dealt with that night. The mission did influence the North Vietnamese communists in positive and immediate ways no one could have imagined back then. After this presentation, you’ll be better informed, enlightened and maybe even inspired. As you will discover, those who took part in this raid always believed in the mission, had confidence in their plan, and pressed on accordingly. Presenter: Bill Guenon

Sat & Sun, Dec 12 & 13: Santa Fly In and children’s winter fun area

SPECIAL TOURING EXHIBIT – Dec 17th- Jan 31st – Salute to WWII Flying Tigers in China Traveling Exhibition:  Begun as a volunteer air corps, the legendary “Flying Tigers” defended China during World War Two. Known for its distinctive shark-nosed planes, this corps of American pilots first achieved success against Japanese pilots shortly after the Pezrl Harbor attacks, which boosted American and Allied morale. This photo exhibition depicts the historical and significant events of WWII Flying Tigers in 177 photos in 48 free standing banners.

Fri, Dec 18th: 6 pm – Salute to WWII Flying Tigers in China Exhibition opening
$15 – members, $20 non-members and $25 at the door – RSVP 760-482-1836 or email
Presenter: Dr. Pedro Chan, Exhibition Curator

Sat, Dec 19th at 1 PM:  The Forgotten War: Korea
In the U.S., the war was initially known as a “police action” conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. It has since been referred to as “The Forgotten War” because of the lack of public attention it received in relation to the global scale of World War II and the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War. However, we at the Palm Springs Air Museum realize the importance of this war and appreciate the service of those who fought in it. Come get a refresher course on this piece of critical American military history. Presenter: Jerry Sweeney

Sat, Jan 2 at 1 PM:  For Love of Life & Country
From Eagle Scout to USAF Lt. Col, with combat experiences in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the story of Dan Hunter’s military career is one that you’ll have to hear first hand to believe.  Accidently sent to Korea as a Marine Private without any combat training, Hunter went on to become one of the highest decorated officers for heroism in the US Air Force. Author, educator and American hero, Dr. Dean Hunter relates his experiences form ground pounder to pilot in his spellbinding presentation, “For Love of Life & Country.” Presenter: Col. Dean Hunter

Sat, Jan 9 at 1 PM: The F-104 Starfighter, The missile with a man in it
Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, the chief engineer at Lockheed’s Skunk Works, visited Korea in December 1951 and spoke with fighter pilots about what sort of aircraft they wanted. At the time, the4 US pilots were confronting the MiG-15 and many felt that the MiGs were superior to the current American designs. The pilots requested a small and simple aircraft with excellent performance. The F-104 Starfighter was the first aircraft to simultaneously hold the world speed and altitude records and saw service in the cold war and during Vietnam. Hear from a pilot who flew this cutting edge piece of military hardware to the very limit of the atmosphere. Presenter: Col. Bob Lilac

Fri, Jan 15th – 6 PM – Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam Opening Reception:
This special exhibit presents the stories, through graffiti left on a troopship’s bunk canvases, of young American soldiers and Marines going to Vietnam during the 1960s. Their stories reflect the attitudes and events during a turbulent decade of our nation’s history – the 1960s. $15 – members, $20 non-members and $25 at the door – RSVP to Carol at 760-482-1836 Presenters: Lee & Art Beltrone

Sat, Jan 16 at 1 PM: France 1940: Invasion that shook the World  
In all the annals of history, Nazi Germany’s six-week blitzkrieg resulting in the lightning defeat of France in 1940 stands as a classic military campaign. What series of events could have led to this unbelievable debacle? How did Germany develop such a powerful strategic war plan and the tactical skills to accomplish in a few weeks what four bloody years had failed to achieve in the First World War? Historian Ed Gordon provides the intriguing political, economic, and military answers that added up to Germany’s greatest victory in the Second World War. Presenter: Dr.  Edward Gordon

Sat, Jan 23 at 1 PM: Pre-war Movies: Hollywood at War – Almost
From 1939-1041, Hollywood and America were officially neutral. But that didn’t stop émigré filmmakers from war-torn Europe like Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, Ernst Lubitsch and Fritz Lang from working pro-interventionist messages into their entertainment packages – and in the process making some of the best films of the Golden Era. Presenter: Kirk Ellis

Sat & Sun – Jan 30th & 31st – Meeting of Mentors: T-34 Fly –In

Sat, Jan 30 at 1 PM: Earning Your Wings: Military Flight Training 
Before becoming United States military pilots, fledging Army aviators underwent the arduous task of attending and completing Air Corps cadet training. Aviation training consisted of several blocks of training from basic flight instruction to advanced flight school. The task of making it successfully through flight school was no easy one and many would-be recruits found themselves washed out. Learn about the process of becoming a military aviator from a man who did just that during WWII and then went on to transition into the jet age during Korea, the Cold War and Vietnam.
Presenter: Blaine Mack

Sat, Feb 6 at 1 PM: 100th Bloody Group Reunion & 8th Air Force Program

Nicknamed the “Bloody 100th”, this WWII bomb group and proud member of the 8th Air Force, suffered tremendously high losses at hands of those defending the Nazi occupied continent of Europe during the war. Every year the surviving members gather here at the Palm Springs Air Museum to share their experiences and pass along their memories of flack filled skies and the rumbling sounds of B-17s in flight. Special Surprise Guest. Presenters: Bob Wolff & Jay Stout


Fri, Feb 12 at 6 PM – Annual Gala – Black Tie or Military Uniform – $350 per person Hosted cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; program, live auction, 3 course dinner and entertainment by & dancing to Wayne Foster Orchestra – RSVP – 760-482-1836
Sat, Feb 13 at 1 PM: Monument Men & their Mission: The Nazi Plot to Steal Europe’s Treasures – During World War II the Nazi government of Germany systematically looted throughout Europe millions of works of art from museums and churches and from Jews and others who were deemed enemies of the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler alone collected at least 5,000 paintings for the massive art museum he planned to build in his hometown of Linz, Austria. This is the story of how the Nazis literally raped Europe not only of its art masterpieces, but also its gold, jewelry, rare books and other collectables, furniture, and other objects of value. Presenter: Dr. Edward Gordon

Sat, Feb 20 at 1 PM: Beyond the Call of Duty: Tuskegee Airmen Tribute
From Tuskegee, Alabama to the skies over North Africa and Italy, Tuskegee Airmen served beyond the call of duty to defend our sometimes less than grateful nation. Come and learn their story, see the planes they flew and meet a few of the men who gave and taught us so much.


Sat, Mar 12 at 1 PM: Canadian Military Tribute: The Royal Canadian Air Force in the Gulf War, Kosovo, & Afghanistan
Since the Second World War, Canadian defense policy has consistently stressed three overarching objectives: the defense of Canada itself, the defense of North America in cooperation with US forces, and contributing to broader international security. During the Cold War, a principal focus of Canadian defense policy was contributing to the security of Europe in the face of the Soviet military threat. However, since the end of the Cold War, the Canadian military has also become more deeply engaged most notably in Afghanistan since 2002. This year’s Canadian Military Tribute program will look more closely at the role played by the Canadian Air Force in the Gulf War, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Presenter: Maj. Bill March

Sat, Mar 19 at 1 PM:  Road to Victory Part I: D-Day,  Liberation of Paris and a Bridge Too Far
In August 1944, the Allies at last smashed through the Normandy invasion bridgehead. The rapid breakout and advance led by General George S. Patton’s Third Army caught the world’s attention. For a moment it seemed that the war in Europe might end in 1944!  In “Road to Victory part 1” historian Ed Gordon will relate how the opportunity for victory seemingly slipped away from the Allies during the late summer and early fall of 1944. Presenter: Dr. Edward Gordon

Sat, Mar 26 at 11 am:  Closing program for the Jewish-Israeli Aviators’ Exhibit:

Steve Geiger will screen a  film about Machal and former old timers of Machal are special guests who will discuss 1948 Israel.

Sat, Mar 26 at 1 PM: Road to Victory Part II: Battle of the Bulge, Crossing the Rhine and the Fall of Berlin by Dr. Edward Gordon
In August 1944 there was hope that the Allies might end the war in Europe by Christmas. Unfortunately that did not happen. Instead in December Hitler launched the Ardennes Offensive or what became known as the “Battle of the Bulge” which caught the Allies off-balance. It was the largest, bloodiest battle that the Allies would fight in Western Europe during World War II. Historian Ed Gordon will discuss salient questions on this battle including: Why did it happen? How did Hitler fool the Allies? Where did the Germans obtain their forces for this offensive? Why was the Allied line so weak at the German point of attack? Presenter: Dr. Edward Gordon;  Flight exhibition scheduled to follow

Sat, April 2 at 1 PM: Linebacker II – Taking It Downtown
This presentation will look at the background leading up to the Presidential ordered bombing missions over North Vietnam. It will examine the differences between B-52D and B-52G in relation to some of the losses of aircraft sustained. And finally, we’ll all experience a “typical” bomb run complete with SAM and AAA calls between the crew and the reset of a 3 ship cell. Presenter: Lt. Col. Howard Butcher

Sat, Apr 9 at 1 PM: Iwo Jima: Ultimate Test and Marine Corps Anthem
Although only about four miles long, Iwo Jima harbored over 22,000 Japanese soldiers and marines in a cave and tunnel network of volcanic shingle fortified by cement that was largely impervious to the US bombing over many months. Historian Ed Gordon will relate the heroic sacrifices made by members of the Marine Corps in the bloody combat to secure this island. This five-week battle took the lives of over 6,800 Americans and another 19,000 were severely wounded. Twenty-seven Marines were awarded Medals of Honor. Presenter: Dr. Edward Gordon

Sat, Apr 23 at 1 PM: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis
For 13 days in October of 1962 the world was perhaps the closest to nuclear war than at any other point in history. John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev stood toe to toe waiting to see who would blink first. Now 50 plus years later with the cold war over, we take a look back at those events through the eyes of those who waited on the front lines to see what would happen next. Presenter: Blaine Mack

Mon, May 30: Memorial Day Flower Drop & Air Fair

This is a very special day at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  Our brief Memorial Day service is dedicated to all of our fallen comrades, who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.  In their honor, we highlight the service with a fly-by and flower drop of over 3,000 red and white carnations from a B-25 Mitchell Bomber. The entire day is filled with flight exhibitions, musical performances, WWII re-enactors, children’s activities and lots & lots of flying aircraft.
Activities start at 10 am; Flower Drop Memorial Service starts at 1 PM

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