“The Legend of CNAC” exhibit at the SFO Museum

Legend of CNACIn conjunction with the 2014 CNAC reunion, a fantastic “Legend of CNAC” exhibit opened at the SFO Museum this past weekend. It’ll be open for the next six months, until February 6, 2015, and I strongly recommend dropping in to check it out. (It’s in the International Terminal at the San Francisco Airport.) John Hill and his SFO Museum staff did a wonderful job with the displays, which are packed with excellent artifacts from the heydays of the China National Aviation Corporation.

It really is a beautiful exhibit, and I think I can claim China’s Wings as one of its inspirations. If so, it’s one of the best outgrowths of the project.

Members of the CNAC family check out the SFO Museum exhibit
Members of the CNAC family peruse the SFO Museum exhibit

Held simultaneously to help kick off the exhibit’s opening, this year’s CNAC reunion was really special, too. Moon Chin held his annual dinner party in the museum’s main hall (which is modeled on San Francisco airport’s 1930s passenger terminal–very apropos to the CNAC era) and the Historic Flight Foundation flew their beautifully restored DC-3 down from Washington State to join the party.

That airplane is incredibly special to the China National Aviation Corporation because it once served with CNAC — as CNAC 100. Our very own Pete Goutiere ferried the plane from Miami to India in 1944, and most amazing of all, Pete helped fly the plane down the coast from Washington to San Francisco to join in the reunion/museum opening festivities.

Several news outlets ran stories about Pete’s reunion with CNAC 100: Here’s The Herald of Everett; HispanicBusiness.com; and CNN.

Thumbs up, Pete!
Thumbs up, Pete!

(I’ve posted photos and articles about the plane before — here’s a photo gallery of the restoration; here’s a photo of it standing on its nose after a bad landing in 1944; and here’s a photo of it flying in formation with a DC-2.)

Liz Matzelle of HFF has some fantastic photos of the flight down and of Pete with the airplane. I’ll link to them if she posts them online.

Did I mention that we celebrated Pete’s 100th birthday at the reunion? Here’s a photo of his cake at the climactic banquet:

Pete's birthday cake

China’s Wings is due to publish in China in early 2015, and here’s a picture of me signing a copy (of the English version) for Angie Chen, who has translated the book into Chinese.

Signing for Angie Chen

China's Wings



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