The Minter Field Air Museum has been putting the history of Shafter aviation on display for decades and the facility continues to expand.
The museum houses a collection of artifacts and photographs of the men and women who were stationed at the base, in addition to the history of other conflicts including the United States military.
The museum is one of the few facilities in the nation that has a working Link Trainer. This machine recreates the experience of flying a plane and was used on the base decades ago when training new pilots.
Two of the museum’s main attractions that they bring to various events in the county are the yellow Follow Me Jeep and the LOACH helicopter. The helicopter attracts hundreds of people interested in sitting in the cockpit as well as getting their picture taken with it.
With the museum having to suspend a lot of its activities due to the pandemic, the museum is still able to give residents tours adhering to social distancing and face coverings.
During non-pandemic times, the museum hosts dozens of groups throughout the year including schools, nonprofit organizations and clubs throughout Kern County.
The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also call the museum to set up a tour for a group, school, or club. The museum also has a history of appearances at the Kern County Fair.
The museum had to cancel the annual Wings ‘n Wheels event in 2020 because of the pandemic.
The event has a James Dean display, along with over 100 aircraft from different eras, including World War I and World War II warbirds. The museum is hopeful the event will return this year.