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Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum — Titusville FL

16 December 2009

Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum

28º 31’ 09” N / 80º 47’ 36” W

 

 

The “VAC” is another special place that is full of aircraft, artifacts and friendly staffers. Located almost next to the Kennedy Space Center this facility has a serious collection of restored aircraft as well as flying airplanes. The unique Northrop F-5E used by DARPA as in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration Program* (government speak for shaping a fuselage to reduce the sonic boom effect on ground dwellers), a somewhat rare Grumman F4F Wildcat, a Grumman F9F Panther and more than a dozen other military aircraft — mostly jet powered, but not all. One of my personal favorites is the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk at the museum’s entrance, as that is one of the aircraft my father flew in the service.

Valiant Air Command hanger view — photo by Joe May

Valiant Air Command hangar view — photo by Joe May

Lineup! Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II photo by Joe May

Lineup! Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II — photo by Joe May

Flying aircraft that are on an occasional layover at the VAC are also intriguing, and I have seen — a two seat Lockheed CF-104 of the Starfighters (a Starfighter aerial demonstration team), a North American B-25 Mitchell called Killer ‘B’ and a de Havilland Tiger Moth. Another flying aircraft, the North American F-86 Sabre named Skyblazers, is based there as well. The Grumman TBM Avenger looks pristine and was recently filmed by the BBC as part of a future release. This is a dynamic museum!

North American B-25 Mitchell the Killer 'B' — photo by Joe May

North American B-25 Mitchell the Killer 'B' — photo by Joe May

VAC hanger view showing the North American F-86 Sabre "Skyblazers" — photo by Joe May

VAC hangar view showing the North American F-86 Sabre "Skyblazers" — photo by Joe May

This museum is especially nice to see as visitors can walk around the aircraft without being blocked by barriers. Additionally, there is a nearby hangar for restoration work one can peak into — and you will see the Douglas C-47 Skytrain Tico Belle, McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II and a Grumman F11F Tiger among other interesting items. As you might expect, the staff are kind and knowledgeable with many who are retired from flying service. Perhaps one of the more unusual volunteers at  the VAC is a retired RAF pilot who first flew in a de Havilland Tiger Moth and flew de Havilland Vampires at the end of his military service. He then transferred to helicopters and one day met Jawaharlal Nehru while flying part of his escort team. It is amazing what history a person sitting next to you may have witnessed!

There are many private airports in the vicinity of Titusville Florida USA — including the Space Coast Regional Airport — but there are two major airports which are about a 30–45 minute drive away, Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport. There is a modest entry fee and facilities that include a small seating area with drink as well as snack dispensing machines. This museum is especially well organized and has received a grant to begin construction of another hangar which the VAC intends to use for Vietnam War era exhibitions and displays.

Sikorsky UH-19 Chickasaw — photo by Joe May

Sikorsky UH-19 Chickasaw — photo by Joe May

*Please see the post on DARPA’s experiment with sonic booms — the Northrop F-5E Tiger II, published on 6 November 2009

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. David Ruehl permalink
    5 November 2015 19:00

    The H-19 was donated by a doctor in Oklahoma. He had it outfitted as a flying camper.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      17 November 2015 07:46

      What an interesting idea 🙂

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