Presented by Westfield Fashion Square and the Museum of the San Fernando Valley: "Taste of the History" -Speaker Series
Thursday, October 25, 2012
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Westfield Fashion Square
Dining Terrace, 2nd floor across from food court
Program: History of Van Nuys Airport
On Dec. 17, 1928, the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight - VNY was born as Metropolitan Airport through the establishment of a corporation by a small group of citizens.
In its early years, VNY served as the base for many record-breaking flights, including:
A men's solo endurance record of 37 hours, by Herbert Fahy, in 1929
A women's endurance record of 42 hours, by Elinor Smith and Bobbi Trout, in 1929
A women's speed record of 196 mph, by Florence "Pancho" Barnes, in 1930
Hollywood stars discovered the airport too, with Gene Autry, Cecil B. DeMille and Howard Hughes among the celebrities who flew there.
With the outbreak of World War II, in 1942 the U.S. government purchased Metropolitan Airport and converted it into a military base to help protect the West Coast. The airport became a vital defense-manufacturing center during the war. In 1944, a joint venture between the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Corporation created an aircraft modification facility known as the Navy Lockheed Plant.
In the meantime, Hollywood continued to use the airport for filming, most notably when scenes from the classic Casablanca were filmed at the airport.
By 1971, VNY had become the busiest general aviation airport in the nation, with airport records showing a total of 562,079 operations.
In 2003, VNY celebrated the centennial of flight and the 75th anniversary of aviation in Los Angeles with an exciting event that showcased an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and much more. In 2006, VNY's Rockin' Airfest event featured the first-ever City of Los Angeles flyover by the F-22 Raptor, the world's most advanced fighter jet.
This is just a taste of the rich history of the Van Nuys Airport. Please join us for a fun evening on local history.
Each month of the program, The Museum plans on offering a speaker event that offers an interesting perspective on the history of the valley. Topics may be focused on overall history of the valley, transportation, aerospace, pop culture, entertainment and more. The speaker event will also be held upstairs in the new dining area - on the west
Please mark your calendars and look out for more details.
Please RSVP to events@TheMuseumSFV.org.
For more information, please contact Michel Stevens at (818) 347-9665.