Valiant Air Command's Warbird Museum Showcases Historic Aircraft

By Anne Gillem on April 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm EST
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History takes flight here, keeping the legacy of past and present military aviators alive through the dedicated efforts of the Valiant Air Command.

The V.A.C. was formed in 1977 by a group of former pilots who wanted to preserve not only the heritage of their colleagues’ wartime missions, but as many of the actual aircraft as possible. They have achieved their goal, and then some. V.A.C. has more than 1,200 members, hosts the popular annual Warbird Airshow and houses 30 historic aircraft in and around the Warbird Museum.

“As a result of those [17] people and the hard work they put in, the [V.A.C.] has accumulated a collection of vintage aircraft that go from a World War I Tiger Moth, a biplane, an F-14 Tomcat, an F-4 Phantom, a Grumman Avenger, a Grumman Wildcat, all the way to a Huey helicopter from the Vietnam era,” says Terry Yon, V.A.C. public relations officer and a retired U.S. Army colonel.

“In addition to the vintage aircraft, we have a memorabilia section of our museum that consists of thousands of artifacts, uniforms, photos, displays and exhibits that [detail] the exploits of aviators and military aviation culture from World War I to the present,” Yon says.

V.A.C. has a procurement committee to acquire the aircraft. They are lovingly restored to display condition – and sometimes flyable condition – by retired pilots. The Command is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all of its employees are volunteers,
Yon says.

Located at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, the V.A.C. has 10,000 square feet of display space, as well as a 30,000-square-foot hangar.

The Warbird Airshow, the Command’s main fundraiser, draws some 30,000 people over a three-day period. The 2009 show is scheduled March 13-15. “We’re all passionate about this,” Yon says.

For more information on V.A.C., visit www.vacwarbirds.org.

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