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July 9, 2020

Greenfield mayor discusses upcoming Yanks Air Museum

Museum expected as soon as next winter

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Mayor Lance Walker spoke to the King City Rotary on Jan. 29 about the ongoing Yanks Air Museum project on Greenfield’s north side.

“It looks like it’s finally going to come to fruition,” Walker said. “It goes back quite a few years, and nothing was ever done.”

He noted his father was on the city council when the project was first brought up in 1988.

The past decade has seen activity with the project, with an RV park coming in during phase one of construction.

Yanks Air Museum in Chino, Calif., is one of the largest World War II and Golden Era aircraft collections, owned by Charles Nichols. That facility is 80,000 square feet, with visitors coming from all over the world, according to Walker.

The new Yanks Air Museum will be built on Hanson Ranch, formerly the Hanson Auxiliary Field, which was used for touch-and-go aviation training during WWII. The 440 acres purchased in 1987 will soon have a hangar with a 250,000-square-foot museum, which is part of phase two of construction.

Walker said of the current delays, “Right now, there’s one little problem we’re having with the county, but you should be able to see some equipment around in the next two or three months.” He added, “Greenfield is very blessed because it’s finally coming to fruition.”

Flight and landing is important for not only the upcoming airport as part of the complex, but also for the museum, as Walker explained the aircraft in the Yanks museum at Chino are flight ready and will each be flown to Greenfield.

“He is going to put a 5,000-foot runway,” Walker said. “He’ll be able to fly big aircraft in.”

The whole of phase two includes the runway, museum and a hotel.

In the future, phase three will include the winery, restaurant, fast-food eateries, gas stations, amphitheater and more than 60,000 square feet of commercial space, according to Walker.

“People can fly in, land their planes, go out and have dinner or lunch, go on a tour, and be able to fly out,” Walker said.

The roads are undergoing completion and expected to be finished by summer, and underground utilities have already been finished.

“We’re hoping by winter, the museum will be up,” Walker said.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler, Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.