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The airplane is as American as Apple Pie! The “First Flight” was on American soil. The American Aviator was a dashing “Yank” portraying adventure, desire, freedom and honor.
It is this legacy that created our mission to acquire, restore and preserve American aircraft and artifacts. Amongst these relics lives the tales and lore of man and of machine, of our Legends and our accomplishments!
In 1973 the collection began with one airplane the Beech Staggerwing. From these humble beginnings the collection has grown and prospered to the more than 160 aircraft on display today at Chino Airport.
Our founders traveled the world for nearly four decades in search of rare American made aircraft and parts. As a result, many of the aircraft at Yanks are the sole surviving examples of their type. The quest for these rare aircraft took them to the Great Lakes of Michigan to raise the F4F Wildcat and to Guadalcanal in the South West Pacific Ocean to excavate wings for the Dauntless Dive Bomber. Aircraft and parts have been discovered in old barns, homes, attics and even life as a flower bed in a trailer park. Each passing decade afforded more aircraft, restoration and consequently more buildings and display.
It is appropriate that Yanks be located at Chino airport or Cal Aero Field as it was known in the 1940’s. With war imminent and the need for pilots great, the new Cal Aero Academy was built at a cost of $700,000 and was one of 42 flight schools then in operation. Over 10,300 new pilots were trained here, most utilizing the Stearman and Vultee trainers. In 1944 the school closed and the airport became a home to hundreds of WWII aircraft awaiting salvage or sale. At that time a good used P-51 Mustang could be purchased for about $500.
Since its inception in 1973, the Yanks Air Museum has always called Chino Airport (KCNO) home. In 1987 the museum relocated to the West end of the runway into an historic 1950’s hangar. The original location is still used for storage of the ever growing collection. The restoration hangar is open to allow all visitors to experience the techniques and materials used by our master craftsmen to bring these aircraft back to life. Now spread over ten acres and 170,000 square foot of display hangars and a “boneyard” the museum offers a dynamic experience to visitors of all ages.
From the 1903 Wright Flyer, our only replica, through today's modern jet fighters like the F-18 Hornet, The Yanks Air Museum collection represents the best of American Aviation!
The Yanks Air Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. Yanks’ mission is to acquire, restore and preserve one of the world’s largest and rarest collections of American aircraft, their history and artifacts.
Our Guiding Vision
Integrity - Not just another pretty face, at Yanks great care is taken to restore all aircraft to their original “airworthy” condition, inside and out, thus presenting the most authentic examples in existence.
Knowledge - The Yanks Air Museum shares programs and exhibits to inform and entertain all ages about American Aviation.