A large-scale model of what is termed the last of aviation’s famous biplanes recently went on permanent public display at the Flight Path Learning Center Museum on the south side of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The Curtiss P-6E Hawk, modeled on a US Army Air Corps aircraft manufactured in the early 1930s, is believed to be the only one its kind at any museum in Southern California, according to the Flight Path Learning Center.
The Hawk was built from scratch and donated by Chester M. Schmidt of Westchester, a retired Lockheed engineer. It features an impressive six-foot, double-deck wingspan and authentic Army Air Corps colors, including a black, gray and white fuselage, and yellow wings.
The model, with a working engine, has been flown by remote control at hobbyist events.
The original Hawk was the backbone of Army Air Corps pursuit squadrons, according to Flight Path president Rowena Ake. Powered by a Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled engine, it also achieved distinction as a formidable competitor in air races.
“We welcome the Hawk as a significant addition to our model collection,” said Ake. “This collection is proving to be a major attraction at Flight Path.”
The museum also features a panoramic mural saluting the 75th anniversary of LAX and Los Angeles World Airports as well as the Centennial of Flight.
Other exhibits showcase development of airlines, aircraft and aviation firms.
The Flight Path Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Saturday of each month in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 Imperial Highway.
Admission and parking are free.
The museum is operated by the Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California, a nonprofit, community based organization, in cooperation with Los Angeles World Airports, the City of Los Angeles agency that operates LAX and three other city-owned airports.
Information, (310) 215-5291 or the Flight Path Web site, http://www.flightpath.us