Lyon Air Museum (Photos!)

Lyon Air Museum, founded by Major General William Lyon and opened in 2009, is our local aviation museum. It’s located just across the runways from the terminals at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, and it’s open 10am-4pm every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. On March 9, at 10am, the museum will open the cockpit of their Douglas DC-3 flagship. On March 21, at 10:30am, Tuskegee Airmen will share their stories.

We finally made our first visit this past weekend. We’re sure to go back, and here’s why.

What’s there?

  • 7 aircraft
  • 8 automobiles (General Lyon is a long-time collector!)
  • lots of motorcycles

It’s small, incredibly well kept, and filled with surprising treasures. And planes are taking off and landing just outside the windows. Here’s a sampling of what we saw.

This C-47 saw D-Day. It was redone as a DC-3 after General Lyon sold his regional airline, AirCal, to American.
This C-47 saw D-Day. It was redone as a DC-3 after General Lyon sold his regional airline, AirCal, to American. That’s a yellow Buick next to it.
Here's the C-47.
Here’s the C-47.
B17
B-17 with motorcycle in foreground. Note the three chairs and screen for viewing two short features, one on flying the B-17 and the other about the Memphis Belle.
A-26B
A-26B
B-25J
B-25J
Norden Bombsight
Norden Bombsight
Hot the red video "start" button, then look into the Norden bombsight to be the bombardier on a mission.
Hit the red video “start” button, then look into the Norden bombsight to be the bombardier on a mission.
One of actor Steve McQueen's former motorcycles.
One of actor Steve McQueen’s former motorcycles.
From a balcony, visitors can overlook the exhibit hall. Note the museum's proximity to the runway, with a Southwest Airlines flight taking off just outside. The noise of the active runway brings the static displays to life in the mind.
From a balcony, visitors can overlook the exhibit hall. Note the museum’s proximity to the runway, with a Southwest Airlines flight taking off just outside. The noise of the active runway brings the static displays to life in the mind.

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