Preservation & Restoration
Acquiring aircraft and artifacts is the first and most crucial step in preserving American aviation. The collection began over 40 years ago with the acquisition of the first aircraft; a Beech Staggerwing. From there the collection grew to a staggering 200+ aircraft; all at different stages in the restoration process. The search for the aircraft have taken our founders across the world; from the depths of the Great Lakes of Michigan to an excavation site in Guadalcanal, to flower beds and attics deep in the heart of American life and culture. This quest has been an incredible process that continues to yield not only rare aircraft and artifacts but stories and historical accounts that will forever enhance the aviation body of knowledge worldwide.
Our intention is to restore each aircraft to flight worthiness, however, some are so rare that they are the only surviving models and may never be flown. The Restoration Hangar has been around since the early 1970’s with the intention of acquiring, restoring, and preserving American aircraft, their history, and artifacts. The Boneyard is where newly acquired aircraft await their turn to begin the restoration process.
Our highly skilled staff take every aircraft through an intensive restoration process; unique to their particular needs and requirements. The parts and materials used to restore the aircraft are period pieces; specific to the era and time frame from which they were originally built. These materials, combined with the techniques used to initially build them, help to fully and accurately restore all our aircraft. Normal restoration time frames can range from years to decades; depending on the condition of the aircraft upon arrival and availability of the parts and materials required to fully restore the aircraft. Yanks diligently labors to restore these historic aircraft we acquire to flight ready status.
As with all aircraft that pass through our hangar doors, our mission remains the same; not only to restore but to preserve each aircraft. Our long-term goal is to rotate all restored and preserved aircraft between the Chino Complex and our sister site located in Monterey County; centrally located in Greenfield, California.
Connie…the real manager!
Lovingly known as Connie, the resident manager has always been a little, shall we say…fluffy? Connie is named after the Lockheed EC-121T Super Constellation aircraft, the largest aircraft at Yanks. Like Connie, the Super Constellation also has a round belly. However, unlike the aircraft, Connie’s “fluffy” belly most likely comes from indulging in too many snacks. When not out chasing mice and overseeing restoration projects, Connie can be found roaming the hangar or museum, socializing with our visitors, or taking a quick cat nap to recharge her batteries.