Mesa's Falcon Field began during World War II when a small group of Hollywood celebrities financed pilot training facilities (Southwest Airways) in the United States for American Allied forces. Thousands of British Royal Air Force Pilots, joined by pilots from Russia, China and 24 other nations at neighboring airfields, earned their wings in the Arizona desert. In 1945, the City of Mesa purchased the facility for $1, and then for the next 20 years leased it to Rocket Power Inc., which manufactured a solid fuel rocket propellant. Today Falcon Field is a bustling municipal airport and a growing business center, with companies like Boeing, Nammo, Talley, and MD Helicopters. The airpark also features the Commemorative Air Force Museum, home of one of the last flying B-17 bombers.