World Wings LogoFrequently Asked Questions –
WWI/PA Museum Integration

We welcome you to the information page on the proposed integration of World Wings International and the Pan Am Museum Foundation. We know you have questions and the need to better understand the reasons behind the decision to integrate the two organizations.

The purpose of the new entity is to continue the work begun over 50 years ago and build on that work through the established framework of the Museum. The new entity’s mission will be to educate, celebrate , and inspire present and future generations by preserving historical and diverse personal stories of Pan American World Airways.

Next steps represent new beginnings, resetting of goals and objectives, a fresh start to ensure the legacy of Pan Am and its people is passed onto future generations. This is an exciting time to once again unite the Pan Am family. We have much to celebrate in the coming years; let’s do it together!

Please see the following list of Q & As as a guide to questions asked about the suggested integration of World Wings International and the Pan Am Museum Foundation.

Thank you,
David Hinson and Linda Freire
Co-Chairs, Integration Committee

What will happen to my local chapter?
  • Chapters remain the same at this time. Any and all suggested changes are open to discussion, and none are set in stone.
  • Effective January 1, 2026, Chapters will no longer need to perform the financial/administrative duties required of a 501©(3) entity. Note that this is a planned date but is still tentative.
  • In keeping with our Pan Am legacy, chapters can become “Bases”.
  • Instead of chapter officers, each “Base” can operate with a lead “Purser”, who is responsible for organizing social gatherings and other local events.
  • “Pursers” would provide communication regarding pertinent news from the “Bases” to the National Board Liaison of the new entity.
  • “Bases” would continue to enjoy social gatherings and events without the requirement of holding meetings and keeping minutes.
  • The new entity would no longer restrict membership to Pan Am Flight Service only.
  • Chapters that have closed because of their inability to elect officers might choose to come back as a “Base”.
Do I have to join the new entity? Cost? Yearly?
  • At this time membership will not change and will remain at $50 per year.
  • With an annual membership of $50 come the following benefits: free admission to the Pan Am Museum in New York, a 10% discount for all merchandise in the on-site Museum Store and a 10% discount for the new entity’s events and galas.
  • “Base” gatherings are open to anyone to attend.
What if i purchased a lifetime membership with World Wings?
  • All World Wings Lifetime Members will be grandfathered into the new entity along with time remaining on a 5-year membership.
Can I buy a lifetime membership with the new entity?
  • Unfortunately, it is not financially feasible for the new entity to have lifetime membership categories. Yearly membership dues generate the yearly cash flow needed to sustain and grow the Pan Am Museum.
What is the mission statement or purpose of the new entity?
  • The new entity will be created to preserve the enduring legacy of Pan American World Airways.
  • On display at the Museum are dynamic exhibits, stories of courageous aviators, flight service contributions, historical videos, photographs, and actual aircraft that showcase the history of Pan Am’s impact on aviation. Our goal will be to grow.
  • We want this story to live on for generations to come.
Would there still be fundraising for bases’ local charities?
  • Chapters (Bases) could continue to support a local charity if they so choose.
What will happen to Angel Wings?
  • Existing funds in the Angel Wings account will remain in place for assistance to those former World Wings Members in need. Its administration remains the same.
  • The fund will continue to operate as it does currently until the funds are depleted.
  • No new contributions to the fund would be accepted beyond 12/21/25.
Will the museum stay in New York, or will it be relocated someday?
  • The Pan Am Museum was founded in New York and is registered in New York. There will always be a museum location in New York.
  • Other locations, partnerships with other facilities and traveling exhibitions are, however, all possible with the new entity.
What happens to MSF?
  • Support for MSF will remain unchanged through the fiscal year 2025.
  • Once the new entity is established, new charity options will be considered.
  • A Pan American educational scholarship for aviation students has been recommended as one way to satisfy our philanthropic wishes while sustaining our Pan Am legacy.
Events, Galas, Conventions and Cruises—how would this work?
  • Because IRS requirements for an Annual World Wings meeting and election of Board Members would no longer be mandatory for the “Bases”, conventions would no longer be required.
  • Galas, Events and Cruises will take the place of annual conventions and be held in various places in the USA and internationally. Events of the new entity would cover a range of activities such as bringing “Bases” together for fellowship, offering opportunities to attend presentations on the history of Pan Am, serving as fundraisers for the Museum and many more.
  • Proposed Example One: A “Better Together” event in 2026, the Museum’s 10th anniversary, would be the first joint Gala event taking place at the Pan Am Museum. It would include a tour of the museum and an opportunity to meet the new board. The evening before could be a dinner cruise around Manhattan to celebrate the new entity.
  • Proposed Example Two: A national event celebrating the Pan Am 100th year anniversary in 2027. Plans are in the works for a large event that would include all Pan Amers from three organizations, as well as anyone that celebrates Pan Am as the premier pioneer in aviation.
  • The goal is to make the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Pan Am a national media event, a fundraiser, and a time for all former Pan Am employees and Pan Am aficionados to celebrate and unite.
Will there still be an Alaskan Cruise in 2025?
  • Absolutely! World Wings will still sponsor the cruise, hopefully with pre-cruise events.
What will our website look like?
  • The current World Wings website will remain until the new entity is in place and a new website can be developed.
What will the new entity be called?
  • The new name will be determined by feedback from both membership organizations.
How was this integration team selected?
  • Nine Members were selected for the diverse skill sets required to move forward.
  • Three members are from the Pan Am Museum and all three are World Wings Members.
  • Six members are from World Wings International with 3 being Board Members.
What will happen to Jet Wings?
  • Jet Wings will remain the same. As a member you will receive all the “Base” updates and social events as you do now. When the new entity is in place, a range of new articles will likely be added to the publication covering topics related to the Museum and all things Pan Am.
How will the new entity exist without fundraising at the local level?
  • The new entity will thrive through individual and corporate donations, memberships, museum admissions, sales from retail outlets and National/Regional Events.
  • We can all help preserve the legacy just through our yearly membership of $50.
Will there be a vote?
  • Yes. Once all members feel like they have the information needed to make a decision.
  • The vote will most likely occur at the beginning of 2025.
  • The vote will be done electronically via your computer or cell phone.
Do you have a timeline for the new entity?
  • Yes. The goal is for World Wings to close December 31, 2025, and the new entity to begin January 1, 2026. This is only a goal and the December 31, 2025, date is flexible. That date would be the earliest.
How will the dues be applied for World Wings in 2025?
  • Currently the World Wings membership is valid from May 1 until April 30 yearly.
  • The new entity membership will be valid from January 1 until December 31 yearly.
  • World Wings members would still pay dues on May 1, 2025, and will be grandfathered in with the new entity until April 30, 2026. The new entity would prorate the remaining amount due (May 1, 2026, to December 31, 2026) to maintain membership.
Let us provide you with some background and history of the Pan Am Museum Foundation.

We have many Pan Am artifacts representing different aspects of Pan Am history from a 1/400 scale model of the JFK Worldport to an original souvenir program from the 1935 inaugural flight of the China Clipper/Transpacific to a sextant used for celestial navigation on the flying boats to a large scale cutout model of the B-314 showing the different cabins on this amazing flying boat. The B-314 cutout model was first on display at the 1939 World’s Fair. We also have many pieces of the china used on the different aircraft starting with the B-314’s, to the Stratocruiser to the 707 and the 747. A common refrain from visitors is “Wait, you actually cooked food onboard the airplane and served it on this beautiful china???!!! People are amazed to learn of the extraordinary service provided by the onboard flight service stewards/stewardesses/flight attendants.

The Pan Am Museum is located on the 3rd floor of an existing aviation museum called the Cradle Of Aviation. No other airline museum shares the space. We have approximately 4000 sq. ft. of exhibit space on this floor. An additional large scale exhibit (about 2000 square feet was built by the Cradle in 2017 in honor of the partnership with the Pan Am Museum that includes a real flying boat in Pan Am livery, along with murals depicting Pan Am’s operation in Port Washington and at the Marine Air Terminal. Several monitors show film of the inaugural transatlantic flight on Pan Am.

The Cradle of Aviation is a wonderful Long Island Museum opened in 1980 by many Pan Am mechanics from JFK. Still today, a few Pan Am mechanics work in the restoration area of the Cradle. Other Pan Amers work as docents giving tours in the museum.

The location of the Cradle of Aviation is central to Pan Am history as it is where the story starts. In May 1927, on the site of the Museum, Charles Lindbergh departed on the Spirit of St. Louis bound for Le Borget in Paris. There to witness Lindbergh’s historic flight was a young Juan Trippe. Upon meeting Lindbergh, Trippe knew he had to hire the aviator to work for his soon to launch new airline, Pan American Airways. Upon Lindbergh’s return and following the Manhattan ticker tape parade, Juan Trippe met with Charles Lindbergh and hired him as a consultant to Pan American Airways.

Fast forward to 1939 for another historic connection of Pan Am and the museum’s location. In 1930, Pan Am operated the first transatlantic flight from Long Island, Port Washington, New York to Marseilles, France on the B-314 flying boat named the Yankee Clipper. Pan Am had a terminal and hangar on Long Island/Port Washington for the new transatlantic flight. A couple years later, Pan Am moved their operations to LaGuardia, the Marine Air Terminal, to be closer to Manhattan.

Beyond the historic reasons for locating the Museum in its current location are also a few financial and practical reasons. In 2015, when the Museum was founded, the Museum’s Board did their due diligence and investigated strategic Pan Am sites to house the museum including the Marine Air Terminal, Miami and San Francisco. For a variety of reasons, none of those locations turned out to be viable. It is important to understand, prior to the establishment of the Pan Am Museum Foundation, the Pan Am Historical Foundation had gone through the same study to identify a location for a Pan Am Museum and came to the same conclusion that those sites were not viable. Some of the reasons include:

The Marine Air Terminal is a functioning LaGuardia Terminal owned and operated by the Port Authority. The Port was unwilling to provide sufficient space to have a Pan Am Museum presence inside the historic terminal. In Miami at Dinner Key, the Mayor’s offices are located there and they are unwilling to provide any space (other than the basement which floods frequently). In San Francisco, there was little interest at that time housing a museum dedicated to preserving the history of Pan Am outside of that already represented in the San Francisco Museum.

The Cradle of Aviation opened in 1980 with many Pan Am mechanics lending their expertise to building the exhibits and with the restoration facility. Pan Amers are also represented in the docents providing tours at the Museum. The Cradle already had a good amount of Pan Am artifacts on display (items donated by mechanics and flight attendants).

As a new venture and with a focus on testing the waters to see if there was interest in a Pan Am Museum, we knew we needed to start small, establish a presence then build from there should the audience materialize. In the 8 years of museum operation, we have increased visitor awareness and attendance, we have launched an award winning Pan Am podcast program with 46 episodes published to date and downloaded over 200,000 times in 161 countries, we have a large following on social media with over 100,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. In the past couple of years we have greatly expanded outreach to the local Long Island community providing the museum with sponsorships including a sponsorship from the former Pan Am Credit Union now called the People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union (PAFCU). This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the current outreach of the Pan Am Museum. We have collaborated on numerous documentaries on Pan Am from media outlets around the world.

Our first full year of operation was 2016. The Museum launched its first fundraising campaign and raised almost $400,000 in 9 months to begin building exhibits with the first exhibit opened in December 2016. In June 2017 we opened the Clippers Go To War Exhibit telling the story of Pan Am’s pivotal involvement in WWII. Next in November 2017, we opened the Stratocruiser: A Luxury Story depicting Pan Am’s emergence as a luxury international airline , partnering with Maxims of Paris to introduce the Presidential Service for the routes of JFK to London, Paris and Rome. Additional information is provided explaining the introduction of female stewards that Pan Am first hired in 1944. On display is a propeller from a Stratocruiser (also the first aircraft with a pressurized cabin) along with china, silverware and serving pieces from the Presidential Service.

In September 2018, we opened the 707: A Fast Story depicting the launch of the jet age and the golden age of Pan Am. On display are the Don Loper uniforms worn in the early 1960s along with the new Presidential China designed for the 707 and many of the accessory items used during the service. The 707 exhibit contains several different displays showcasing Pan Am of the 1960’s from the onboard service to the jet age aircraft to the expanding Pan Am corporation including displays on the Intercontinental Hotel Chain, the Aerospace Division ( showcasing Pan Am division Johnson Space Control) the Cargo Division (Pan Am as the largest cargo carrier in the 1960’s with the then state of the art cargo facility JFK Hangar 67) to displays showcasing Pan Am’s role bringing the Beatles to New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

In 2019, we started designing the 747 exhibit. Due to pandemic and the extended closure of the Museum, only phase one of this exhibit was opened. We are currently working on the design and build phase to complete the 747 exhibit which will include a diorama of the Pan Am 747 first class cabin. In 2021 we opened a 22 foot long timeline of Pan Am’s 64 year history. The timeline was our pandemic project as we could work on it at home from our computers. We also have a Pan Am Pioneers wall to introduce those Pan Amers essential to building the foundation of what became the “World’s Most Experience Airline.” Featured on this wall are Juan Trippe, Charles Lindbergh, Capt. Ed Musick, Cornelius “Sonny” Vanderbilt Whitney, Igor Sikorskly, Andre Priester, and Hugo Lueterich. Without the involvement of these men in the formation and building of the company in the late 1920’s and 1930, Pan Am would not have accomplished such iconic status. Please know this is a very brief summary of what is on display in the Museum. It by no means represents the totality of items on display.

We also want to address the question/comment that keeps circulating that the Museum needs WWI membership dues to stay afloat. That is simply not true. Below is a brief recap of the Museum’s financials for 2022. The year 2022 is the last available year for financial reporting as the 2023 financials have not yet been finalized and reported on a 990 to the IRS.

Over the past eight years of operation, the Pan Am Museum Foundation has not received any money from World Wings International. All Museum operations have been financed through revenue generated solely by the Museum Foundation. There is a diverse system of revenue to support the Pan Am Museum Foundation including fundraisers, auctions, events (the annual fundraiser gala and other events throughout the year), sponsorships, grants and retail sales form the Museum online store and the onsite store (in 2023, revenue from the retail outlets generated almost $100,000 in sales).

The Museum does not need the membership dues from WWI. Of course additional membership revenue will help but the Museum Foundation continues to generate revenue with or without the addition of the WWI membership. We continue looking for additional means to generate revenue, to increase the number of sponsorships and to obtain more grant funding.

Pan Am Museum Foundation 2022 Financials

Total Revenue: $252,521
Contributions: $223, 868
Gov’t grants: $10,000
Program services: $0
Investments: $7
Special events: $0
Sales: $18,646
Other: $0

Total Expenses: $192,401
Program services: $51,500
Administration: $57,181
Fundraising: $83,720

Should anyone question the veracity of the financial information provided, please know the information can be verified/authenticated by referencing the independent Guidestar website. Guidestar is an organization that collects, organizes and presents information about registered non profits and rates them by awarding them silver, gold or platinum seals of financial transparency. The Pan Am Museum Foundation was recently elevated to a Platinum Seal. Many organizations use Guidestar when considering awarding of grant money or for organizations considering large donations or sponsorships. To check on the financials for any registered non profit, simply put the name of the organization, Pan Am Museum Foundation, on the search line at Financial information for all non-profits is also publicly available on the IRS website.

Bottom line, the Pan Am Museum Foundation is on solid financial ground.

Finally it is important to know that all the Pan Am organizations, World Wings, Pan Am Historical Foundation, Clipper Pioneers and the Pan Am Museum Foundation are all in talks to consolidate and work as one organization with one unified Pan Am voice to preserve its 64-year history and legacy.

We hope this information will help with some of the questions or concerns you may have. Please remember you can always reach out to any of our Integration Team Members.

Thanks again,
David and Linda

Still have questions? Click Here to send a message to the Integration Committee.