Chinese Museum to Work with Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in Honolulu has been awarded a Museums Connect (MC) grant to launch a project with Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Chengdu, China, one of Honolulu’s sister cities, it was announced today by Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff. The grant will enable the two museums to implement a student research exchange project, Past to Present: U.S.-Sino Bridge of Connection.

A full scale Boeing F4B-4 replica that has been at Honolulu International Airport for the past 6+ years is now at its new home at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
The aircraft had some damage to the wing structure which will be repaired in the Restoration Shop in Hangar 79. The F4B-1 was the sucessor of the Boeing F2B/F3B naval fighters. The last F4Bs/P-12s were phased out of service in 1941.

Students from Kaiser High School and their counterparts in Chengdu will conduct joint research on the legendary American Volunteer Group (AVG)/Flying Tigers of the Chinese Air Force. Selected students from each country will participate in a study trip to explore the impact of WWII on cultural attitudes and traditions, and connect these lessons to contemporary issues and realities.

Museums Connect is a joint initiative of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The MC mission is to build global communities through partnership, collaboration, and cross-cultural exchanges linking the respective museums with communities both abroad and locally.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on historic Ford Island occupies
World War II-era hangars that still bear the scars of our nation’s first aviation battlefield. Ranked #8 aviation attraction in the nation.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. It provides educational programs for adults and children and is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard on Historic Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. Opened December 6, 2006, it has been ranked by TripAdvisor® as one of the “top ten aviation attractions” in the nation. Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for tickets, information and to download a coupon for a free combat simulator flight.

The Flying Tigers Exhibit Opens Soon at the Pacific Aviation Museum

A Curtiss P-40 E Flying Tiger, which was one of the most popular and successful American aircraft of WWII, joined the aircraft collection at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in July of 2010 and has become the centerpiece of a new “The Flying Tigers” exhibit which officially opens Thursday, October 27, 5:00 to 7:30PM, with a dedication and gala reception, by invitation to press and dignitaries.

A Flying Tiger

The event will also feature a special tribute to Senator Ted Stevens, who was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force and flew the P-40s in China, 1944 and 1945.

The P-40 is on loan to the Museum from donor corporation FedEx. At a $1.5 million value, the aircraft is preserved in flying condition and is powered up periodically at the Museum. The Museum worked with the Flying Tiger Museum in China to create the exhibit, coordinating efforts among the state of Hawaii, the Museum, and the People’s Republic of China.

Built in 1942 for the Royal Canadian Air Force and used primarily for training during WWII, the aircraft changed ownership before being shipped to Hawaii in 1969 to be used in the filming of Tora! Tora! Tora!

The aircraft is a memorial to Flying Tiger Line founder American Volunteer Group (AVG) ace Robert Prescott, and the Flying Tigers in China, which consisted of AVG pilots recruited from U.S. Forces and contracted with the Nationalist Chinese Air Force. The Tigers are credited with 299 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed during their service from 1941~1942. The Museum’s P-40 is signed by many of the Flying Tigers. They signed the left (AVG pilots) and right (AVG support crew) horizontal tail assembly during a reunion in 1981.

According to Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff, “More than 14,000 P-40 aircraft were built during WWII. Although often slower and less maneuverable than its counterparts, the P-40 could withstand amazing amounts of battle damage and could out-dive most of its adversaries. It’s the aircraft in our logo and now, the star of an exceptional new exhibit. We’re thankful to the generosity of donor corporation FedEx and their Chairman/CEO Fred Smith.”

The P-40 carried a crew of one and was powered by an Allison V-1710 engine, which was replaced by a “115” engine during the restoration project in 1981 and has 65 total hours. Made by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the P-40 has a top speed of 362 mph. The number 67 on the plane represents the original number 67 which crashed early, and was not designated to any one pilot. A red stripe on the rear fuselage represents the Third Pursuit Squadron, “Hells Angels.” An insignia on the wings represents the Chinese Air Force. The propeller was purchased from Smithsonian Repair.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Rated the “One of the top 10 aviation attractions in the nation” by TripAdvisor®, it is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by shuttles from the USS Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Tickets and a free combat simulator flight coupon are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. 808/441-1000.