The future Great Park Aviation Heritage Museum in Orange County, California, will become the owner of two rare and historically significant aircraft: an N3N-3 Canary and an SNJ-5 Texan, thanks to a May 21 vote by the Great Park Board Corporation.
The N3N-3 is a 1942 biplane used by the Navy and Marine Corps to train pilots during World War II. The SNJ-5 is a 1944 aircraft used for advanced training of fighter pilots for the Navy, Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force, also during World War II. Both aircraft are in airworthy condition, according to a Great Park news release.
“These two historical planes will be a wonderful addition to our future Great Park Aviation and Heritage Museum,” said Larry Agran, chairman of the Orange County Great Park Board Corporation. “A military airplane display and military museum are both key elements of the Great Park Master Plan and reflect the rich, 60-year military history of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.”
The N3N-3 is a two-seat biplane built by the Naval Aircraft Factory. It was used by Navy and Marine Corps primary flight schools. After World War II, N3Ns on floats remained in active service at the U.S. Naval Academy training midshipmen, who called them Yellow Perils, until 1961.
The SNJ-5 is a more advanced two-seat trainer, designed by North American Aviation. The plane was used for training during World War II and for training and combat missions during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The SNJ-5 is considered one of history’s most successful training aircraft, with more than 17,000 built by North American Aviation, many still flying under private ownership at air shows.
“We are hopeful that the planes will be on display for everyone to enjoy at the Great Park’s upcoming Anniversary Celebration, slated for July,” said Mike Ellzey, chief executive officer of the Great Park Board Corporation. “The planes need no restoration and will be exciting additions to our aviation collection.”
For more information: www.ocgp.org