✈️ This Florida museum gets you up close to 50 wartime planes, jets, military vehicles

It’s a hidden gem at the site of a Central Florida airport housing nearly 100-year-old war planes. News 6 anchor and Insider Guide Crystal Moyer spotted a sign for the Titusville museum off State Road 405 and pulled over to check out the unique museum honoring veterans through wartime planes.

“What we have here is the B-25 Mitchell. Its biggest claim to fame was the dual raid over Tokyo back in April of 1942. This one here does fly. You might see it in an air show,” tour guide Jack Major said. “To see these old warbirds take to the air, it gives me goosebumps every time.”

“What we have here is the B25 Mitchel. It’s biggest claim to fame was the dual raid over Tokyo back in April of 1942, this one here does fly. You might see it in an air show,” said Jack Major.

Major knows a lot about war planes, having served in the Air Force as a crew chief for nearly 30 years.

“The saying goes, ‘once you get aviation in your blood, you can’t get it out.’ For close to 10 years after retiring, there was a void in my life and I found the Valiant Air Command, visited and the rest is history,” Major said.

His passion led him to become a volunteer tour guide, sharing his knowledge and history with visitors.

“Without volunteers, there would be no museum. Our volunteers not only conduct tours, they do the restoration work. We support flying events and air shows,” Major said.

Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum is located at 6600 Tico Road, just west of US-1 in Titusville. The fleet of about 50 war planes and jets sit inside a 30,000 square foot hangar at the Space Coast Regional Airport. About eight of the warbirds still take flight for air shows and other special events.

The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum is located at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville.

Some of the planes and jets appeared in movies like “Top Gun” and “Midway.”

“The F-14 Tomcat. I affectionately call it the Tom Cruise mobile. This is the star of the first “Top Gun,” it’s long since been retired. They’re no longer on active duty,” Major said. “You think back to these war movies that you’ve seen on TV and what it must’ve been like to be flying over enemy territory and getting shot at.”

Major’s favorite plane on display is the F-4 Wildcat.

“It was pulled out of the bottom of Lake Michigan back in the late ‘80s and it took our restoration crew about six years to restore it back to how you see it now. The interesting thing about the story is the man that crashed it into Lake Michigan, he survived and went on to fly in the Atlantic,” he said.

The museum was able to trace the pilot, William “Dixie” Howell, who was living in Central Florida, and invited him to the ribbon cutting of the completion of the restoration and display at the museum.

The Warbird Museum is mostly run by donations and volunteers, many of them pilots. Some even restoring old planes in the restoration facility behind the museum.

This is the only XP-82 in the world with two cockpits that was used for long-range fighter escort during WWII.

One of the most unique planes at the museum is the XP-82 Twin Mustang piston engine fighter built in the 1940s during World War II. It has two separate cockpits on either side of the plane.

“It was designed primarily for long range fighter escort for our bombers. The average mission would be eight to nine hours possibly, so this way, the primary pilot can take it to the target and the other would fly it home. It’s very tough to fly a mission that long with one person,” Major said. “This is the only one in the world and it’s capable of flying.”

“This is the F-14 Tomcat. I affectionately call it the ‘Tom Cruise mobile.’ This is the star of the first Top Gun, it’s long since been retired. They’re no longer on active duty,” said Jack Major.

The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum opened in 1977 and along with other planes, open cockpit experiences and military vehicles, the museum also has thousands of wartime artifacts and memorabilia. It’s open daily to the public. Tickets are $22 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5-12. There are discounted rates for seniors, military and students.

Click HERE for ticketing information.

“We need to know where we’ve been in history, and this [museum] is a large part of it,” Major said.

The VAC Museum also hosts monthly fly-in, drive-in breakfasts with the view of wartime planes and the runway. The event is open to visitors of all ages. Click HERE for ticket information.

VAC Warbird Museum hosts monthly fly-in/drive-in breakfasts with a view of the warbirds.

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