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Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum | Our History
Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum
961 West Alondra Blvd. Compton,CA 90220
(310) 618-1155 | (877)999-2099
Email Us » | Contact Us »

How It All Got Started…

Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM), formerly Torrance Aeronautical Museum, was founded in 1997, when Robin Petgrave, a successful entrepreneur and president of Bravo Helicopter and Wing Flight School at the Torrance Airport, decided to turn his attention to the growing problem of juvenile crime.

Realize Dreams

Robin started his journey towards inspiring young kids by reaching out directly to them while at school. Instead of just visiting at-risk youth at school functions, Robin began landing his helicopter on school grounds during assemblies, career days, etc and started insipring kids one at a time to "Realize Their Dreams". Kids started listening because of Robins infectious style of speaking and connected to kids on the same level. This outreach program, Positive Vibtrations Youth Mentoring Program, grew very popular at many Los Angeles K-12 schools and were the initial practices of today’s reknown Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum.

Very First Aviation Explorer

During these early years, Robin had focused on the very first Aviation Explorer, Richard Washington. Richard was an inner city kid who learned how to fly at such a young age. Richard short background on richard…and caught the atten. NEED INFO ON RICHARD.

What Mattered Most

In 1999, Robin decided to go full throthle and fully commit most of his energy towards mentoring at-risk kids providing them with an opportunity to become inspired by alternative activities such as learning to fly. Robin put aside his love for fancy automobiles and material things and dedicated most of his time developing a non-profit organization then called "Torrance Aeronautical Museum". This was a new change and chapter geared towards helping people instead of just making money. He found his passion doing something he loved, helping people.

Obstacles

During the early days of TAM, there were elementary challenges and obstacles which made it difficult for Robin’s vision to materialize. One of those challenges was the lack of support for such a program that involved busing "inner-city" kids into an affluent neighborhood like Torrance. It was a difficult time for TAM, as there was hardly any support and belief that any of the talk of teaching young at-risk kids how to fly would become reality. Instead of a helping hand from the local council, obstacles were placed in the way prohibiting TAM from housing a positive environment in which focused on helping at-risk youth learn to fly and facility where they could go to after school.

However, there was a much bigger opportunity and tremendous amount of positive support from largely recognized public figures such as Former Mayor James Hahn, Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin, Los Angeles Police Department Former Chief Bernard Parks, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca and organizations such as Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and The Tuskegee Airmen. These supporters reinstated the vision of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and fueled the mission which at the time seemed impossible.

Warm Welcome

During the 1st Annual Community Care Awards in 2001 where TAM honored key positive figures that helped the at-risk community, the current mayor of the city of Compton Eric Perrodin, extended a warm welcome and promise of support for TAM to relocate to The City of Compton. TAM realize how much relocating to Compton made sense and decided to immerse it’s efforts directly at the core of its audience. In 2002, TAM established itself at the Woodley Compton Airport where the first location still exists today. Torrance Aeronautical Museum became Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and the rest is history.

The First World Records

During 2002-2006, Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum focused on training selected individual that exemplified dedication and commitment throught their hard volunteer work. These kids earned an opportunity to learn to fly and became Aviation Explorers. The first group of Aviation Explorers went onto set world records and captured local and national attention. These Aviation Explorers were Jimmy Haywood, Kenny Roy, & Breean Farfan.

Jimmy Haywood and Kenny’s accomplishments here Congressional Resolution.

The Second World Records

While the first set of world records were accomplished abroad by TAM’s Aviation Explorers, a new dream manifested at home inspiring the next young pilot who would set 4 World Records in one flight. This young pilot, Jonathan Strickland, started to learn how to fly both a helicopter and an airplane and at only 14 years old, set 4 World Records in Canada in June of 2006. Jonathan Strickland is now the most talked about pilot of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and has helped the organization recieve significant attention not just mass media outlets globally but again helped TAM to recognized no just by the State of California but by The United States of America.

Resolution 532

Following Jonathan Stricklands World Record breaking flight to canada The Congress of The United States of America went on to pass Resolution 532 in 2006 validating the humanitarian efforts of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. Resolution 532 has been a major benchmark award for this fairly new organization and is celebrated in addition to the hundreds of other awards and recognitions received over the years.

Continuing The Legacy Of The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen have been an instrumental part of helping inspire the youth of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and have developed strong relationships with some of the young pilots becoming a major influence on helping them reach the sky. The partnership between TAM and The Tuskegee Airmen are naturally perfect as the Tuskegee Airmen now have a vehicle to help give back to the community and promise the continuation of their legacy, history, and accomplishments.

Public & Private Support

Currently, we are supported by non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles County. Our newest supporters include Northrop Grumman Foundation, Boeing, Southwest Airlines, Northrup Grumman, City of Compton, G-Unity Foundation, Simple Green, Celebrity Helicopters, Assoication of Black Airline PIlots and many more.

These supporting organizations have made it possible for TAM’s programs to exist on a large scale. However, TAM’s primary source of funding and the key that will unlock doors still comes from the various individuals, supporters, patrons, and people around the world who contribute and become an official member of this non-profit organization.

Aviation Angels

In 2007, Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum launched it most valuable fundraising and support effort called the Aviation Angels. The Aviation Angels is a membership driven coalition which enables TAM to lobby and obtain more funding to spread youth aviation programs nationwide not just in at-risk communities but in all neighborhoods. In the first month of it’s online launch, without any promotion other than word of mouth, the Aviation Angels reached more than 100 members becoming a strong indicator for the future. As the Aviation Angels grows, the organization will grow and the positive impact and change in communities will increase. If you would like to make a difference and help TAM help others, please join the Aviation Angels today. It’s secure and tax-deductible. Click here for more information.

Future

Within the short-term, TAM is has a few more World Record potential Aviation Explorers in the works, however the long-term is where TAM is more concerned. TAM has large plans of extending its programs nationwide creating satelite facitilies at various airport locations which are in need of youth aviation programs. Also TAM wants to be a major contributor to providing the aviation industry with quality pilots and greater opportunities. Because of TAM’s proven effectiveness of helping people reach the sky, it hopes to grow and have a future of it’s own. Help Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum today and be a part of making history! Become An Angel, it’s the best way you can make a difference.

2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location 2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location 2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location 2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location 2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location 2001 Early Visitors to TAM Torrance Location