The American Airpower Museum (AAM), Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, held a grand reopening special event on Saturday, Aug. 1 at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, where AAM is based.
At 11 a.m., World War II and other vintage aircraft departed from AAM’s ramp to take to the skies over Long Island’s north and south shores. Aircraft will create camera-ready opportunities as they perform low-level passes over the airport.
These flights featured AAM’s Grumman TBM Avenger, two North American T6 Texans, the AT28D5 Vietnam-era combat fighter, the WACO Biplane and as an added attraction, L-39 Cold War-era Russian jets.
Like all other state museums, the AAM was forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak, resulting in the cancellation of half of the museum’s 2020 flight season. This was slated to be a banner year for AAM. Museum aircraft were scheduled to participate in historic events marking the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and honoring U.S. veterans who made the Allied victory possible. As they have done for the last 17 years, AAM’s WWII airplanes were going to appear in the annual Jones Beach Air Show. And it must be noted that on May 24, the AAM celebrated its 20th anniversary in silence.
At the end of the 2019 season, AAM took its aircraft offline for the winter to begin scheduled maintenance and inspections, making sure the warbirds would be ready for a full 2020 flight season. When the coronavirus outbreak hit our shores, the AAM’s Board of Directors preemptively closed the museum on March 16 for two weeks. On March 22, New York State ordered all non-essential businesses statewide to close. Two weeks became three months.
AAM President Jeff Clyman said it’s always been AAM’s mission to honor the legacy of those who gave all to preserve our freedoms.
“We’re pleased to announce we recently resumed maintenance and inspection of our aircraft so that much anticipated flight operations can begin with our grand reopening event. We also promise a flying salute to our veterans and front line workers very soon,” he said.
Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and veterans, and $8 for children.
Visit www.americanairpowermuseum.com/donate to make a tax-deductible contribution.
AAM is located at Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale. Call 631-293-6398.
—Submitted by the American Airpower Museum