Vintage Combat Planes, Special Programs Salute Honeywell Naval Aviation Day May 14 at the Museum of Flight

World War II navy planes fly to museum for day, programs include panel of veteran navy fighter pilots

SEATTLE – The Museum launches its celebration of the U.S. Navy’s 100th year of aviation 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 Museum’s 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.
F7F Tigercat
The Grumman F7F Tigercat was the the U. S. Navy’s first twin-engine fighter, and it outperformed all existing fighters. The Tigercat could reach speeds of 450 mph. While the plane was delivered to Marine combat units in 1944, it never saw World War II service. The plane’s fighter capabilities did see some use during the Korean War.
F8F Bearcat
While the F8F just missed active duty in World War II, it served the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps for training and front-line duty. It flew in the Korean War and played bomber and escort roles for France, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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.
Naval Aviation Day is just one of several special events at The Museum of Flight in 2011 sponsored by Honeywell.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo.

For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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