Lots of our visitors have the same questions, so it seemed fitting to dedicate a page them!
When is HFM open, where are you, and how much does it cost?
**As of Nov 16 2013, HFM will be closed for moving to the new facility at Skagit Regional Airport through the winter. A soft opening is anticipated for February 2014 and a grand opening in April 2014. Regular hours, fly days and special events will be added as the move and setting up progresses.**
Does HFM provide flights in the Mustang? Or any of the other aircraft?
Sadly, no we do not. Under the watchful eyes of the FAA, insurance companies and attorneys, it has become a significant risk that increasing numbers of Museums and other warbird collectors are not able to take.
So I can’t fly in one, but can I sit in it?
Rarely do we allow visitors to sit in the aircraft – not only does that make for a lot of wear and tear, but there are lots of things that could get accidentally pushed, and then there’d be all kinds of trouble!
Is it ok to take pictures of the aircraft?
You bet it is! We just ask that professional photographers not use pictures they take without getting our permission first – just so that we can get appropriately credited.
There’s an event happening that warrants a fly-by. HFM can do that, right?
We’ve done a number of fly-bys in the past, but as our budget has shrunk and shrunk we have had to do less and less of them. The Mustang costs about $2500 to run for one hour – about the time it takes to do a local (Whatcom County) flight. The T-6′s are about $800 for one hour… put four of them together and phew! It’s not cheap! A number of good folks have ‘sponsored’ flights, so that we can fulfill the obligation without sweating the dollars.
HFM has a collection of flyable WWII, Korea and Vietnam era aircraft in addition to a growing collection of memorabilia from the same era. What makes our museum unique is that we a) believe in flying our aircraft, and in keeping them airworthy, and b) there are no ropes or toe-rails around our aircraft (unless they’re on the flight-line about to fire up!), which means that you can get close enough to them to leave with a schmear of oil on your clothes! On flying days, we keep our visitors at a safe distance, but not so far away that you can’t smell the exhaust or feel the prop wash. It’s a unique experience, and one well worth having over and over again!
I’m a big fan of the space program, can I get Bill’s signature?!
Unfortunately, Maj. Gen. Anders no longer provides autographs. While we’re sure this is disappointing, you must understand the he receives countless requests every day, and could not meet the demand!
Your airplanes are so old! Are they safe to fly?
Because our aircraft are so special, our maintenance staff takes meticulous care of them. And in fact, there are a lot of more common aircraft (Cessna’s, Pipers, even some commercial aircraft) that are just as old! One of our favorite says is “You want to know if these old airplanes are safe to fly? How do you think they got to be so old?!” So rest assured, they are as safe as can be! And so are our pilots – they have thousands of flight hours, lots of training, all the necessary licenses and then some! Besides, several of them are retired military aviators, so even more rigorous experience there too!