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Jay Leno to headline flight museum fundraiser


Nov. 8 at LPAC

On Nov. 8, acclaimed late-night talk show host and comedian Jay Leno will headline a special stand-up comedy show to support the Flight Test Historical Foundation’s efforts to build the nation’s only museum dedicated to flight test pioneers. Leno will host the event at Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 Lancaster Blvd., from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Art Thompson, the chairman of the board of the Flight Test Museum,said,  "Jay Leno as a friend has a long relationship and respect for Edwards Flight Test and NASA Flight Test Family. Jay enthusiastically came up with the idea to perform a show with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Flight Test Museum and Stem Education Center."

The museum will serve to preserve and educate the public about the historical feats of aviation and space exploration that have taken place in southern California’s “Aerospace Valley,” which includes NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, A.F. Test Pilot School, Air Force Rocket Lab, Space Force, and the Mojave Air and Spaceport.

Thompson thanks Leno for his contributions to the museum, as his funding helps foster the next generation of aerospace wonder kids. " His contributions, among others, provide funding to benefit future generations to learn, participate, dream, and be inspired by space." 

In the same week, on Nov. 11, The Flight Test Historical Foundation will host its annual Gathering of Eagles gala dinner at the John P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center, 43404 30th St W. The dinner recognizes significant achievements in the flight test world. The recipients of the ‘2023 Eagle Award’ are Jeffrey Knowles, test pilot for Lockheed Martin; Pete Seibold, test pilot for Scaled Composites; Douglas Shane, test pilot for Scaled Composites; and Evan Thomas, test pilot for Stratolaunch. 

The event will include a silent auction, an aerospace art exhibit, a scholarship presentation, and a panel discussion by flight test pilots and engineers; all proceeds from the auction will go towards building the National Flight Test Museum. Tickets for the Gathering of Eagles gala dinner range from $80 to $200 and can be purchased at