Planes of Fame Air Museum was founded by Mr. Ed Maloney in Claremont, California. The doors first opened on January 12, 1957. At that time, it was simply called "The Air Museum". There was no need to be more specific, because no other air museums existed in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River!
The original collection consisted of just 10 airplanes. From those humble beginnings, the Museum has grown to over 150 aircraft, more than 50 of which are flyable. But to understand the significance of this achievement, we have to look back to the days following WWII.
Although the Allies produced over 300,000 military aircraft during World War II, most were destroyed within just a few years of the war ending in 1945. The new jet aircraft being introduced had captured the imagination of the country, making the best propeller planes of the war seem obsolete almost overnight.
Mission of Planes of Fame Air Museum to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans. And although the Museum spans the history of manned flight from the Chanute Hang Glider of 1896 to the Space Age of Apollo, many more chapters remain to be written and many more stories told before the vision of a young Ed Maloney is finally fulfilled.