The Museum of Flight in Seattle launches its celebration of the U.S. Navy’s 100th year of aviation May 14 with a full day of special activities sponsored by Honeywell. Events include lectures, a panel discussion with World War II navy fighter aces, vintage navy aircraft flights and fly-in displays.
The programs at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. are free with admission to the museum. Two vintage Grumman navy fighters, a F7F Tigercat and an F8F Bearcat, will fly past the museum at 10:30 and will on view for free in the museum parking lot from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Naval Aviation Lecture – Grumman Big Cats – Navy Fighters from Hellcats to Bearcats, David Lednicer, 9 a.m.: Aeronautical engineer David Lednicer’s presentation looks at the evolution of land- and sea-based Navy aircraft in the 1930s and during World War II, culminating with the awesome piston-powered airplanes that entered service shortly after World War II, including the Tigercat and Bearcat. Program attendees will have exclusive access to the museum’s second floor balcony to watch the Grumman aircraft fly-bys following the lecture.
Vintage Navy Fighter Aircraft Flying Demonstration and Static Display, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Representing two of the ultimate piston-powered U.S. Naval aircraft, a Grumman F8F Bearcat and a Grumman F7F Tigercat will arrive at Boeing Field for aerial demonstrations in front of The Museum of Flight. Based at the Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field in Everett, the classic planes will make multiple passes by the museum at 10:30 a.m. After the flight, the planes will be on static display in the parking lot until their departure at 4:30 p.m. The pilots will be stationed by the aircraft throughout the day for autographs and visitor questions.
Naval Aviation Panel Presentation – World War II Navy Fighter Aces, 2 p.m.: Three U.S. Navy fighter pilots who became aces flying combat missions during World War II will share their experiences during this Naval Aviation Day presentation. Lt. Tilman Pool scored six aerial combat victories, Lt. Cmdr. Charles “Billy” Watts scored 8 3/4 victories and Lt. Cmdr. Fred Dungan achieved ace status with seven victories.
For more information: MuseumOfFlight.org