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Open Airplane Afternoon features historic airplanes for hundreds to see

July 15, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Vince Budny and his grandson Connor Buckley peek inside a single-engine airplane Sunday during Hagerstown Aviation Museum's Open Airplane Afternoon.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

Several hundred people streamed onto the grounds of the Hagerstown Regional Airport Sunday to see military aircraft that were once manufactured there, including cargo planes like the “Flying Boxcar,” which was designed to transport Jeeps and trucks.

Six planes were on display as the Hagerstown Aviation Museum sponsored its Open Airplane Afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the region’s aviation history, which spans more than 90 years, according to the organization.

One of the group’s main goals is building a permanent facility to house its aircraft, said Scott Schneider, the museum’s volunteer coordinator.

“We have a few ideas and a few joint ventures that we need to look into as far as possibilities,” Schneider said.

The Flying Boxcar was designed by Fairchild, and the aircraft manufacturer built 1,100 of the planes here, said John Seburn, president of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.

Also on display was Fairchild’s C-82, another cargo plane that was designed during World War II and was used during the Berlin Airlift in 1948, Seburn said. Seburn said 200 of those planes were built in Hagerstown.

The hulking cargo planes were a hit with visitors, who were able to climb inside them.

“We had a heck of a crowd. The kids, they just love climbing into the cockpits of the Boxcars,” Schneider said.

Also on display was a 1943 Fairchild PT26 and a 1943 PT19, which were used to train allied pilots in World War II, and a biplane built in 1928 by Kreider Reisner. Kreider Reisner was the manufacturer that preceded Fairchild in Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum will display planes again at the airport on Aug. 19, Seburn said. On Sept. 22, the organization will hold its big show for the year during the Wings and Wheels Expo 2012 at the airport, Seburn said.

The airport is planning to have an open house during that event, Seburn said.

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