First Sunday to celebrate Aviation Museum of Santa Paula’s
official opening

July 30, 2014
Santa Paula News

It opened in August 1930 with a dedication celebration that included air races, aerobatics and parachuting, a visit from the Goodyear Blimp, and featuring many famous aviators of the time such as Art Goebel, Roscoe Turner, Pancho Barnes, Jimmy Doolittle and Hawley Bowles. 

On Sunday, just about 84 years later there will be another grand celebration at the Santa Paula Airport, the official opening of the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula!

If you missed the airport’s grand opening in August 1930 you can recreate that look and feel by wearing costumes and clothing appropriate to the era at the August 3 Museum’s “official” Grand Opening to be held during the airport’s First Sunday Open House.

According to Dale Sumersille, museum administrator, there will be a brief program beginning at 11 a.m. recognizing the official opening of the museum, children’s activities, vintage aircraft displays and information on other Santa Paula and Ventura County museums.

There will be an array of vehicles displayed including those from the Model A Club, Model T Club, Tri Valley Mustang Club, Porsche Club LA Region and the Topa Topa Flywheelers and more.

The original Aviation Museum of Santa Paula (AMSP) opened in February 2000 when the public was welcomed to visit The Chain of Hangars offering numerous exhibits as well as a detailed history of the airport’s creation created in Hangar 1.

The exhibits in that hangar were later moved to the museum’s first permanent building, the former Screaming Eagle which is located right at the airport’s entrance.

Ambitious fundraising allowed the purchase of the building as well as the costs to convert it to a museum.

The venue has been open to the public for several months and the Chain of Hangers remains linked: each of these privately owned hangars houses a variety of vintage aircraft and privately owned collections of various memorabilia which will pique everyone’s interest; the collections are comprised of antique, classic and experimental aircraft, automobiles, race cars, motorcycles, juke boxes, an enormous antique radio and phonograph collection, paintings, photos, model aircraft and a variety of aviation artifacts. 

Other aircraft owners also put out their antique aircraft on static display and many vintage aircraft will fly in each month for the First Sunday Open House.  

The Museum Tram is available to save visitors a few steps in between hangars.

The museum is open to the public the First Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the airport, known as “Where local aviation history comes alive... “

The museum’s home, Hangar Number One tells the history of the founding of Santa Paula Airport in 1930. For kids age 8 - 17, the Young Eagles EAA Chapter 723 program offers free plane rides; the program, co-founded by the late aviator and Santa Paula hangar owner Cliff Robertson, was launched nation-wide in 1992 to give interested young people an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. For more information and to schedule a reservation, contact Neil Fowler at (805) 647-6994.

Visitors are encouraged to stop by The Museum’s Gift Shop located in Hangar Number Six to receive a map of the hangars and view local artifacts. The shop also sells T-shirts, hats, aviation related items and all proceeds go to the Museum.  

Refreshments are available for purchase and will be catered by Java Cat, Blue Light Food Truck, Keep on Grubbin’ and Desserts To Die For; Café Flight 126 is also open to serve visitors.

Since 1930, Santa Paula Airport has been widely recognized around the world for its antique, classic and experimental aircraft as well as celebrated for its climate and its friendliness. 

The Airport is located at 800 Santa Maria St., between the Highway 126 Palm and 10th Street exits. Rain cancels the event.  

For more information call (805) 525-1109, or visit

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Tel: 805 525-6048


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