I took a ride down to Santa Ana recently to check out the California Aircraft Expo at the John Wayne airport. The new planes for sale were parked out on the tarmac with only a velvet rope (and some no-nonsense security) separating us from the roaring traffic flying off into the clouds. The expo is more like those hot tub or boat shows they hold at the fairgrounds than any sort of lofty exposition, but how often do you get to kick the tires on a $4 million dollar toy? Some of these things are total military-grade spaceships, only with leather upholstery and a wood grain dash. One was made of fabric and so lightweight that it could land on the lawn of a private estate. The salesmen threw around names like Brad and Harrison and Kobe when describing the market for these luxe jets. Cessna also brought along the Ford Fiesta of private planes, the $150,000 Skycatcher, which they say is mostly used by beginner pilots and flight schools. It was a neat tour, but I think I’ll leave my flying to the guys with the wings on their lapels. To get to the new planes, you had to enter through the old planes of the Lyon Air Museum. This is a fantastic exhibition of (mostly) World War II aircraft, Packards and artifacts from the so-called “greatest generation” put together by 89-year-old homebuilder William Lyon. If fellow tract home overlord Eli Broad can have his museum, so can Bill Lyon. This place is great! Purple hearts under glass, Memphis Belle-style painted planes and even Hitler’s car! I felt like Private Ryan or the Right Stuff guys were going to slo-mo out of the back room. This place is awesome, the epitome of the postwar American dream. Guy enters the army, builds 72,000 homes, makes a billion dollars and builds a museum dedicated to him (look for the giant oil painting of Major General Lyon in the back) and his pals and their days of glory. God bless America.