Lyon Air Museum Review

Douglas DC-3

Explore the incredible Lyon Air Museum, named in honor of retired U.S. Air Force Major General William Lyon. This must-visit destination is located in Orange County, California and boasts an impressive collection of aircraft, cars, and motorcycles housed inside a spacious hangar.

Conveniently located adjacent to Martin Aviation, founded in 1923, the museum is accessible from the west side of John Wayne Airport. The meticulously maintained aircraft on display are not only impressive but may still be operational, as evidenced by the fluids collected beneath their engines.

Want to learn more about this fascinating museum and its exhibits? Head to to explore their collection virtually. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in aviation history.


North American B-25J Mitchell

Meet the B-25J, also known as Army Air Corps serial number 44-29465. During World War II, it served as a patrol aircraft over Alaska and the Aleutian islands, before being utilized for pilot training. Boasting two 1,700 hp Wright Cyclone R-2600 14-cylinder radial piston engines, this aircraft can carry up to 4,000 pounds of bombs while soaring up to 24,200 feet with a maximum speed of 275 mph at 15,000 ft, and a cruising speed of 230 mph.

North American B-25 Mitchell

Originally designed as a medium bomber to bridge the gap between light and heavy bombers, the B-25 was developed from the North American NA-40. Named after the famed airpower advocate, U.S. Army officer William “Billy” Mitchell, the B-25 became a staple in the USAAF, famous for its participation in the Doolittle Raid in April 1942, where LTC James Doolittle led a team of Army bombers off the USS Hornet to launch air strikes on Tokyo.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress

Step back in time and see the impressive "Fuddy Duddy" B-17G aircraft, used as a VIP transport during WWII in the Pacific. Built under license by Douglas Aircraft, this iconic plane boasts four 1,200 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820 engines and can carry up to 17,600 pounds of bombs with external racks. With a top speed of 300 mph at 30,000 ft. and service ceiling of 35,600 ft., "Fuddy Duddy" is a must-see for aviation enthusiasts everywhere.

Don't miss your chance to explore the history of this incredible plane, even featured in Hollywood blockbusters like The War Lover and Tora Tora Tora. And with its appearances in firefighting, "Fuddy Duddy" is a remarkable addition to any aircraft collection. So come see "Fuddy Duddy" in person - it's one of the largest and most memorable exhibits in our collection.

Douglas A-26B Invader

The Douglas A-26 Invader: An Iconic Aircraft That Dominated Multiple Wars. From WWII to Vietnam, the Douglas A-26 Invader was one of the most active and versatile aircraft of its time. Armed with six 0.50 cal machine guns, rockets, and bombs, this plane was a force to be reckoned with when it came to strafing ground targets. It even played a role in covert operations, making it perfect for a variety of missions.

Douglas A-26B Invader

Its initial design as an attack aircraft for the USAAF, the XA-26 later entered combat as the A-26B in 1944 and was followed by the A-26C in 1945, equipped with a glazed canopy and a bomb aimer. Although only 1,091 A-26C planes were produced compared to the 1,355 A-26B models, the aircraft continued to serve in various roles including target tugs, JD-1s, and B-26s for the US Navy and Air Force up until the 1950s. The A-26 Invader was truly one of the most heavily armed and successful aircraft of its era, helping shape history and earning a place in aviation legend.

Cessna O-1E Birddog

Learn the history of the Birddog, Cessna Aircraft's reconnaissance plane introduced in 1950 for the U.S. Army. This aircraft runs on a Continental O-470-11 flat six-piston engine, producing 213hp with a max speed of 130 mph and service ceiling of 20,300 ft. Over 3,398 airframes were built from 1950-1964. Initially designated L-19, it was later renamed O-1 in 1962 and was extensively used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and 19 other foreign countries during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

This O-1E is painted with the 183rd Seahorses’ markings, reflecting Vietnam service. Many Birddogs were employed for artillery spotting, visual/photo recon, Forward Air Control, and search-and-rescue missions armed with hand grenades, an automatic rifle, wing-mounted WP smoke rockets (seen in this aircraft), and sometimes supplemented with cabin or wing-mounted M60 machine guns.

Douglas DC-3

The DC-3 and C-47 are essentially the same aircraft, with the DC-3 being the civilian version. "Flagship Orange County" began as a C-47A used by the US Army Air Force's 440th Troop Carrier Group. On D-Day, it dropped paratroopers over Drop Zone DELTA in Normandy. After the war, it was converted into a civilian airliner and served with American Airlines.

Douglas DC-3

This aircraft was the first to make air travel profitable for American Airlines without relying on government subsidies. In 1939, over 90% of passengers were flying on DC-2s and DC-3s. Today, "Flagship Orange County" in American Airlines livery is proudly displayed as a symbol of aviation history.

Douglas C-47B Skytrain/Dakota

Witness the storied life of Army Air Corps Serial Number 44-76791 - a historic aircraft with a captivating past. From serving in the US to being flown by the French and Israelis before being sold to the civilian market and now displayed in a museum collection, this C-47 is one of the most remarkably original planes still in operation.

Featuring its iconic "invasion stripe" paint and colors of the 440th Troop Carrier Group's 97th Troop Carrier Squadron, the C-47 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" 14-cylinder radial engines, each boasting 1,200 horsepower. With a maximum speed of 224 mph and cruising speed of 160mph, it has a service ceiling of an impressive 24,600 ft.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to see this unique and historically significant aircraft for yourself. Come experience the spirit of aviation history today.



Assortment of Unique Artifacts

The museum also houses an impressive collection of vintage cars and small airplane models, in addition to its main exhibits. This publication provides a glimpse into some of the museum's most notable artifacts, along with a few other interesting objects on display.

Here are only a few of them:

If you're a fan of aviation, don't miss out on visiting the Lyon Air Museum. Despite its petite size, this museum boasts a fantastic collection of operational aircraft that will leave you in awe. Packed within its hangar, Lyon Air Museum's numerous exhibits and impressive collections make it a must-see destination.

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