Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cal City Recon

If you think the town of Mojave is out in the middle of nowhere, you've never been to the bustling metropolis of California City! Bypassed by both Hwys 14 and 58, Cal City is the home of a prison and not much more, so housing prices are some of the cheapest in all of southern California. The place does, however, have a pretty nifty airport, which is popular amongst the skydiving and gliding crowds. Here's a bit of an overview of the oddities to be found out there....

Below:Cal City is the base of operations for Baja Air, which operates a pair of DC-3s and a Cessna 414 in charter service down to Cabo.

Stuffed out behind some hangars on the east end of the airport are a bunch of what look like unfinished Curtis P-40 mockups, presumably from a movie set. If anyone has any information on the background of these, please leave a comment below! 

Cal City seems to have attracted more than its fair share of Fouga Magisters. The one above is marked "221", while the flyable ones, below, are (from top): N315VB, N315MB and N355F. (These shots are posted specifically for my Fouga friends in Finland!)

Completing the collection of the odd and forlorn are a Convair HC-131 sitting in a trailer park (the FAA shows it being registered to the "California Museum of Air and Space") and a rather dusty Yak 52.

Lastly, while leaving Mojave, I grabbed a shot of the Fun Bird for my good friends at Aloha!


Reuben said...

Hey Alan, Reuben over at XCOR. Those P-40s are from Starr Aircraft (not related to a company in TX and one other Midwest RC model company). Ron and Leon Starr used to make high fidelity mock ups from drawings and photos for movies, museums and such. It was a father and son duo. I don't know the status of the father, but I believe the son used to and may still work here at Mojave at the NTPS as a mechanic.

There old web site hosted by Cal City internet is no longer up. All I have. Hope it helps.

heroineworshipper said...

Apparently it's not in the middle of nowhere, by the amount of money we're being taxed to pay for the mortgages out there.

Admin said...

These P-40s are owned by my mate in Cali City airport ground and i know all about and posted exclusive photos and info over 5months ago on another warbird forum.
Shame WIX doesnt rember or care to check.

My mate has over 20 warbirds in his collection and the P-40 are all mockups and are for sale for around $40-50,000 each i am told last i heard of him.
He has sold some overseas i understand.

I have known the owner for 5years.

If anyone interested i can help maybe.....

Sydney, Australia

Anonymous said...

Hey Phil,

First off some of us on Wixs talked about this Mockups way back in 2004 on the old board so yea you might want to do some research of the old threads before you go slamming Wixs.

Beside I know the history of these molds a tad better then you do. The mold is one of David T.s old Molds that he had laying around this mold was the mold used to make the mockups for the movie "1941" this one of the first molds that MARC did and later after they got a better version they sold this one off.

So like I aid you might want to watch your Wixs bashing

The Col.

Bill said...

Just stumbled across your site. Very interesting.

Avn-Tech said...


You need to check your info, which is wrong. The planes were built by Starr Aircraft for a movie that was never shot. Reuben and Phil were correct.

I know this, since I am the current owner of the P-40's, fouga Jet, and Yak-52 shown on this page. I also have 2 ea PT-19's, 2 ea BT-13's, 2 ea L-5's, and an F-5 crash recovery.

We are currently working on restoring the Yak-52 and one of the L-5's to flying condition. The Fouga will be restored to Static display/trainer/simulator. The other aircraft will be started as time and money permit.

Thank You
John Fischer
Californai City, CA