Saturday, September 29, 2012
More than 100 people turned out to see the tarp removed from Harold F. Pitcairn's black-and-yellow PA-8 Mailwing.
When Charles Kirkner took in the sight of the black-and-yellow winged beauty in front of him it was like seeing "an old friend" again. Kirkner, 97, of Warminster, one of more than 100 people in attendance Saturday for the official unveiling of the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association's newest addition - a circa 1931 PA-8 Mailwing - recalled his first meeting with the 81-year-old rarity. "I've seen it fly," said Kirkner, a North Carolina native and World War II veteran of the Army. "This plane flew over delivering the mail. I used to look forward to seeing it every night." On Saturday, once the orange-and-white tarp was pulled away, Kirkner could once again see the aircraft, one of two like it remaining in the world. The PA-8 …
Patch spent two days in August at the Wings of Freedom Museum in Horsham to watch the piece-by-piece arrival - and reassembly - of aviator Harold F. Pitcairn's circa 1931 PA-8 Mailwing. The aircraft is one of two remaining in the world.
Mike Posey of the Posey Brothers Inc., a rare aircraft restoration company based in Robbinsville, N.J., tells what it was like restoring one of two remaining PA-8 Mailwings. The circa 1931 aircraft is housed at the Wings of Freedom Museum.
Cars nearly drove off the road at the sight. A black-and-yellow streak heading from Robbinsville, N.J. to its final destination: Horsham. A crew from Posey Brothers Inc., shared with glee the reaction of motorists at seeing the body of a circa 1931 PA-8 Mailwing fastened to the back of a flatbed truck as it was hauled to the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum on Aug. 20. Aviation enthusiasts had hoped the rare aircraft - one of two left in the world - could be flown in to land on the runway at the shuttered Willow Grove air base, adjacent to the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association's museum, but the federal government quashed that hope before it ever took off. So, brothers Mike and Larry Posey, along with crew from …
Friday, September 28, 2012
Major General Ron Nelson of the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association shares with Patch how the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum's acquisition of a circa 1931 Mailwing puts the Horsham museum on the "map."
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association hopes to obtain hangar 175 at shuttered Willow Grove air base in Horsham to spread its wings in restoring planes. An official overseeing the site's redevelopment said, 'It's not going to happen.'
As the long-term redevelopment of Willow Grove air base unfolds, the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association is looking for more space: More room to restore planes and more area for public access to artifacts. In particular, the operators of the Wings of Freedom Museum on Route 611 in Horsham want to obtain hangar 175, described by DVHAA volunteer Mark Hurwitz, as the “biggest hangar and in the best shape” of all remaining at the now-shuttered base. “It’s close to where we are,” Hurwitz said of the nonprofit group’s existing space, which is still owned by the federal government. “It’s a big area and you could do a lot with that.” “Could” is the operative word. The Horsham Land Reuse Authority – the entity tasked with locally …
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Flight enthusiasts were hoping to get approval from the federal government to allow a rare airplane to fly into the shuttered Willow Grove air base for display at the adjacent Wings of Freedom Museum.
One of two remaining circa 1931 PA-8 Mailwings will be disassembled and driven “home” to Horsham and reassembled soon after. The hope, according to Mark Hurwitz of Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association, was for the lightweight plane to fly from the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport and land – for its final flight – on the runway of the shuttered Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove before being stowed at the neighboring Wings of Freedom Museum. But, the federal government, still the owners of the 1,100-acre former military base, quashed that idea by denying use of the runway. “We’re disappointed, but we’re not faulting them,” Hurwitz said. Instead, the rare plane will be taken apart by brothers Mike and Larry Posey of …
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association is hoping to make improvements that would allow greater public access.
An extended fence line, additional space for its book collection, the establishment of a veterans memorial, relocation of an immobile plane. The nonprofit Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association which operates the Wings of Freedom Museum in Horsham, is hoping to get the ok from the federal government to implement four proposals which they hope will make it easier for the public to view the roughly two dozen aircraft and other aviation-related artifacts on display. The Horsham Land Reuse Authority, during its meeting Wednesday afternoon, directed HLRA staff to submit DVHAA’s proposals to the Navy Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office for review and consideration. HLRA Executive Director Mike McGee said he expects …
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The family of aviator Harold F. Pitcairn are donating one of his rare aircraft to the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association.
Actor Steve McQueen was known almost as readily for his roles as he was his love of cars, motorcycles and airplanes - including a rare model set to make Horsham its final destination. In photos of the late actor in 1979, McQueen is seen sitting in the cockpit of his PA-8 Mailwing, which was one of only six built by aviator Harold F. Pitcairn’s company, Pitcairn Aviation in 1931 at the former Pitcairn Field. Prior to World War II, Pitcairn had owned much of the acreage known today as the shuttered Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove. The plane’s local roots makes its Horsham homecoming even more significant for the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association, the nonprofit entity that’s been gifted a PA-8 Mailwing similar …
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association added an A-10 Thunderbolt to its display and hopes to expand its public viewing space.
Flying enthusiasts now have the chance to get an up-close look at a 29,000-pound piece of vital wartime aircraft. An A-10 Thunderbolt has landed at the outdoor viewing area of the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association’s Wings of Freedom Museum, joining about two dozen other aircraft currently on display. The low-flying 3,900-round-per-minute fighter plane, which has the ability to withstand “direct hits from armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles” is making its home at the Easton Road museum, according to DVHAA volunteer Mark Hurwitz. The plane is a remnant from the in-flight missions of the 111th Fighter Wing for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, the unit stationed at the adjacent Horsham Air Guard Station. “While …
Thursday, April 26, 2012
A young 'Amelia Earhart' takes flight at the Wings of Freedom Museum.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
Thursday, April 26, 2012