May 21, 2009 – IRVINE, California – The Orange County Great Park Board Corporation today approved the acquisition of two rare and historically significant aircraft for the future Great Park Aviation Heritage Museum — an N3N-3 Canary and an SNJ-5. The N3N-3 Canary is a 1942 World War II biplane used by the Navy and the Marine Corps to train pilots. The SNJ-5 is a 1944 World War II aircraft used to train fighter pilots for the Navy, Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force. Both aircraft are in good condition and maintain their airworthiness.
“These two historical planes will be a wonderful addition to our future Great Park Aviation and Heritage Museum,” said Larry Agran, Chair, Orange County Great Park Board Corporation. “A military airplane display and military museum are both key elements of the Great Park Master Plan and reflect the rich 60 year military history of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.”
The N3N-3 Canary is a two-seat biplane built by the Naval Aircraft Factory. It was used for the Navy and Marine Corps primary flight schools. After World War II, the plane remained in active service with the U.S. Naval Academy until 1961.
The SNJ-5 is a single-engine, primary trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation. The plane was used for training during World War II. It was also used for training and combat missions during the Korean War and Vietnam War. The SNJ-5 is considered one of the most successful training aircraft with over 17,000 built by North American Aviation.
“We are hopeful that the planes will be on display for everyone to enjoy at the Great Park’s upcoming Anniversary Celebration slated for July 2009,” said Mike Ellzey, Chief Executive Officer, Great Park Board Corporation. “The planes need no restoration and will be an exciting addition to our aviation collection.”
Additionally, the Great Park Board approved an agreement with the International Culture Foundation of Korea to conduct a feasibility analysis for a Multi-Cultural Center. The Multi-Cultural Center is envisioned to be a place of expression for many cultures to interact, build communication, understanding, and celebrate the diversity of today’s American culture.
Clerk of the Board / Interim PIO
Orange County Great Park Corporation