F-100, T-33 and P-51 Rides Featured In “Largest Ever” Warbird Flight Fundraiser organized by Selfridge Museum.
The Selfridge Military Air Museum in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, has announced a unique and, according to museum staff, “unprecedented” online auction to fund the construction of a new Aviation Education Center.
According to the museum executive director, Steve Mrozek, the new Aviation Education Center will include a display hangar for a WWII Goodyear FG-1D Corsair undergoing restoration at the museum. The new Aviation Education Center will support involvement in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculums by providing an, “unprecedented resource to Midwestern students, educators and schools”.
The auction, dubbed the “Aviation Adventure Auction”, will feature actual flights up for bid in nine different historic aircraft. The aircraft include a North American F-100F Super Sabre, a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, a North American P-51D Mustang, a WW I Curtis JN-4 ‘Jenny’, and the Goodyear blimp.
The auction will begin at 6:00 PM local time on Friday, July 30, 2021 and continues until 6:00 PM on August 6, 2021. Donations for flights sold in the auction are tax deductible according to the museum, since the facility is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
“As far as we know something like this has never been done before, at least anything on this scale,” said museum Deputy Director Ed Kaminski.
“There is no better cause to support than STEM education, especially in the Midwest. This new Aviation Education Center will be an unmatched resource in experiential learning that will inspire tomorrow’s technical students today,” said museum Director Steve Mrozek.
The Selfridge Military Air Museum is a unique aviation museum located within Selfridge Air National Guard Base, an active military base that is home to the Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing. The unit operates both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135R Stratotanker.
The Selfridge Military Air Museum is home to 32 aircraft on static display, including a Grumman F-14 Tomcat from the operational unit that inspired the movie “Top Gun”, a rare Convair TF-102 Delta Dart (the first of its type built), a P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft, an F-4 Phantom II and many others. There is also an indoor museum that includes, among many displays, artifacts from little known units like Co. “F”, 425 Long Range Surveillance Unit (RANGER/AIRBORNE), a secretive unit that was conceived to conduct long range reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines during the Cold War and was deployed operationally to Iraq.
The proceeds from the auctioned flights in the nine different warbirds will fund the construction of the new Selfridge Aviation Education Center, an addition to the museum that will be located near the existing Department of Defense STARBASE youth education center.
The complete list of aircraft rides included in the Selfridge Military Air Museum auction is: North American F-100D Super Sabre, Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, North American P-51D Mustang, Curtis JN-4 Jenny biplane, North American T-6 Texan, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress and the Goodyear Blimp. There is also an opportunity to drive one of few operating WWII M-4 Sherman tanks. Additional details on this auction can be found on the museum’s web site.
Selfridge is one of the largest reserve component military installations in the world, hosting units from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Michigan Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Customs and Border Protection. In addition to the Air National Guard missions flown from Selfridge, the base is extremely active in supporting the Coast Guard rescue mission over the local Great Lakes as well as securing the U.S./Canadian border. Units from Selfridge have deployed to nearly every major conflict since the base began operation in 1917, making it one of the oldest continuously operating military bases in the U.S.
I’ve tried to visit that museum several times on various trips to the area. It’s never open.