18 May 2011

College Park Aviation Museum

After dropping off the paperwork required to fly into CGS and learning the airport operating procedures, I decided to check out the adjacent College Park Aviation Museum. I'm glad that I did. I had no idea how much history took place at this airfield:

  • Wilbur Wright trained the first two Army aviators at the field (they soloed in under 4 hours, if I remember correctly)
  • It was a stop on the first airmail route
  • The precursor of the ILS was developed and tested there 
  • The Ercoupe was test flown there

At first glance, the Wright Model B replica looked like it was made out of aluminum, and I immediately began to question the accuracy of the reproduction. It turns out that it is historically accurate: the Wrights coated the exposed wood with aluminum powder to throw off their competitors!

Meandering through the museum is a good way to spend a couple of hours. I saw just about everything--skipping the simulators and kids games--in about two hours. 

If you fly in, it takes about a minute to walk from the operations building to the museum. I was told that there are currently no landing fees or ramp fees if you visit for the day. 

I heard there is a barbecue planned (in June?) where the Baltimore FSDO and TSA will all be present so that you can complete the vetting paperwork in one place.

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