“Up-Close Aircraft Day” Focus: “Flying Boxcar” for Cargo
Riverside, Ca. – March Field Air Museum is proud to announce the sixth installment of “Up-Close Aircraft Days” on Saturday, June 19, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. As part of this new interpretive program, a different aircraft is featured each month with the next focused on the Fairchild C-119 “Flying Boxcar.” On the second Saturday of each month throughout the year, Museum guests will have the opportunity for a close-up look – sometimes climbing stairs to get a close-up view into the cargo bay or cockpit, other times even climbing aboard.
For the upcoming “Up-Close Aircraft Day” focused on the C-119 Flying Boxcar, guests will see how this unusual, twin-boom aircraft—designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter, patients, and mechanized equipment—served on many missions and in numerous conflicts during its years of service. On this day, visitors to March Field Air Museum will get an up-close view of the Museum’s Flying Boxcar, peering into the cargo bay and also looking into the cockpit at close range.
A redesign of an earlier cargo aircraft, the C-119 was able to address numerous design deficiencies and at the same time, increase cargo capacity while allowing for larger loads. Variations of this aircraft were outfitted as gunships, and others assisted with the recovery of spy satellite film capsules. Serving through numerous conflicts and missions in Asia, Europe, the Pacific and the Far East, the last “Flying Boxcar” retired from active U.S. military service in 1974.
C-119s were provided to other nations under the Military Assistance Program, and the design was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as well as other branches of the U.S. military, including the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. A number of C-119s were subsequently acquired by contractors to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and used as air tankers for fighting wildfires (the Museum’s C-119 served out its final years in Montana as an aerial tanker for firefighting). Others were used for civilian cargo service, and for hauling materials to areas with no road access (such as those found in parts of Alaska).
To preview the next “Up Close Aircraft Day” happening in July, a recently refurbished FB-111A Aardvark medium-range bomber will be featured. The Museum’s website features extensive information on each aircraft in its collection of more than 80 total, for those wishing to learn more. Knowledgeable museum docents, dressed in period uniforms whenever possible, will be on hand to assist visitors, provide information and answer questions. The March Field Air Museum website will list upcoming “Up-Close Aircraft Days” and the featured aircraft each month; for more information, visit www.MarchField.org/calendar.
“This new ‘Up-Close Aircraft Days’ program allows March Field Air Museum to showcase the incredible aviation heritage of the U.S. Air Force and military, and especially Riverside’s own March Field,” said Executive Director Paul Hammond. “Today known as March Air Reserve Base, this architectural gem of a military installation in 2018 is commemorating its presence in our community for 100 years. March Field is the West Coast’s oldest continuously operated military airfield, and a birthplace of the modern Air Force that our nation relies upon today.”
Each “Up-Close Aircraft Days” opportunity will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the scheduled date (Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and is included with regular Museum admission: $10 for guests ages 12 years and older; $5 for children ages 5 to 11 years; and free for ages 4 and younger. In case of inclement weather, other aircraft may be substituted. March Field Air Museum is a top-rated TripAdvisor attraction located alongside Interstate Highway 215 at Van Buren Boulevard, just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base. For more information about the Museum, please call 951-902-5949 or visit www.MarchField.org
About March Field’s Centennial
March Field (today’s March Air Reserve Base, located immediately adjacent to the March Field Air Museum) is the West Coast’s oldest continuously operating military airfield. Established in 1918 as the U.S. was embroiled in World War I, it began life as part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Following several sleepy years in the 1920s, March Field was expanded in the 1930s as the world again prepared for war. As March Field passed the quarter-century mark, it was busily protecting West Coast skies and training U.S. Army Air Forces personnel for deployment to all Combat Theaters during WWII. Following the war—as the Cold War began—and then continuing for nearly 50 years, March Air Force Base became the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command 15th Air Force headquarters and home to a massive nuclear deterrent force.
About March Field Air Museum
The March Field Air Museum is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to promoting an understanding of humanity’s reach for the skies and March Field’s pivotal role in the development of flight. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and rated the #1 Attraction in Riverside by TripAdvisor, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and located alongside Interstate Highway 215 at Van Buren Boulevard, just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base. Over 80 aircraft are on display, ranging from a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer (which launched powered flight worldwide), to the world’s fastest manned air-breathing aircraft (the SR-71 Blackbird) and a modern-day MQ-1 Predator (remotely piloted aircraft), to early examples of military aircraft, to some of America’s most iconic military planes including World War II bombers. For more information about the museum, visit www.marchfield.org or call (951) 902-5949.