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Aviation in Hagerstown reviewed on public TV

July 12, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Those interested in Hagerstown's aviation history can get glimpses into the past through a film that is showing tonight on Maryland Public Television.

"Hagerstown: Remembering Our Aviation History" premieres at 10 p.m. on MPT, and will replay Friday at 11 p.m.

The film is a documentary by Vintage Video Productions of Greencastle, Pa. Local viewers got a chance to see it last November at showings at Faith Chapel Theater on South Potomac Street.

Since then, some footage and interviews have been added, said Tom Riford, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO. The film is 1 hour, 27 minutes long, according to MPT's Web site.

The film reaches back to 1916, when Italian immigrant Giuseppe Bellanca began building planes on Pope Avenue in Hagerstown, according to MPT.

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The documentary includes Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing Corp., which employed as many as 10,000 people in Washington County. The company's factory here closed in 1984 and the company moved to McLean, Va.

Fairchild's most popular plane was the A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the Warthog.

The film also portrays the commuter airline history of Washington County, according to MPT.

MPT is broadcast locally on WWPB, Channel 31.

The film coincides with other aviation-related events this week, including the opening Thursday of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum and the Fairchild Family Reunion, which is July 16-17 at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

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