American Airpower Museum
The American Airpower Museum is located in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.
The American Airpower Museum squeezes a lot of aircraft and aviation exhibits into a single hangar. The museum's centerpiece is thier WWII B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber "Miss Hap" which was the personal transport used by General Hap Arnold. The B-25 was also owned by Howard Hughes for a period after the war. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is an outstanding restoration, as well as is the P-40 Warhawk. There was a complete Consolidated PBY Catalina shoehorned in the hangar too. The museum staff were doing engine maintenance on the PBY while I was there. A good looking Grumman TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber graces the floor behind the Catalina, and a Czech L-39 Albatross jet trainer in a striking semi-Soviet block paint scheme stood next to it. Several Beech C-18 Expeditor noses sit lined up in a row that kids of all ages can climb into and sit in the pilot's and copilot's chairs. The staff and volunteers have done something rather clever with a WWII C-47 Dakota's nose. Visitors can walk up a platform to look inside the cockpit from the rear. On either side of the rear of the nose section are speakers, and a subwoofer is parked under the platform. A segment of the soundtrack from I think Band of Brothers is playing continuously with C-47 engine noise and whumps of flak bursts thumping up at you through the platform. It is truly a unique and well done display.
Outside the American Airpower Museum's hangar sat a North American SNJ and an AT-6 Texan, along with a Republic RF-84F Thunderflash and an F-105 Thunderchief. Several WWII vehicles including a 1941 Chevrolet Fire Engine in excellent restored shape also grace the area outside the hangar.
The American Airpower Museum is unique in that many of their aircraft are working airworthy warbirds. The staff and volunteers were quite busy working on the aircraft and doing hangar maintenance while I was there. The museum is also located on an active airport. Visitors are not permitted to step outside the hangar unless accompanied by a staff member with a blue badge. The museum staff are very serious about this as I learned when I stepped out the hangar door to join a guide with 3 visitors 30 feet away and was quickly admonished not to set foot out of the hangar without an escort. If you want to bring kids (or inattentive adults like myself) you will seriously need to keep a close reign on them. As the staff have other responsibilities to return to you may find you can't look and linger as much as you might like if you're a true aviation enthusiast. I got to quickly see the aircraft on one side of the hangar before my guide was called away. Later I wanted to see the vehicles and F-105 Thunderchief on the opposite side of the hangar and was able to pull another guide to go out with me for a few minutes before he also got called back in to continue working on the PBY.
You can visit the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale NY on Long Island, not far from the Long Island Expressway. The museum is located within the Republic Airport where during World War II and after the Republic Aviation company manufactured many famous military airplanes. (the museum is housed in one of their old WWII hangars). It's a good trip for the aviation enthusiast and a good alternative to a rainy beach day in the summer. Along with the airplanes the museum has a small gift shop and vending machines but no real food within walking distance. A couple of fast food and a diner were located on the 4 lane road that leads you down from the Long Island Expressway. For hours and directions visit the American Airpower Museum's Website.
5/28/2016 - The American Air Power Museum's P-47 Thunderbolt lost power and the pilot attempted to ditch in the Hudson River on May 27. Unfortunately the pilot, 56-year-old William Gordon, did not survive. The engine must not have been turning because only one propeller blade was bent when the plane was hoisted out of the water by the Army Corps Of Engineers. Here is ABC News's coverage of the recovery of the WWII Plane. From the footage the plane does not seem structurally damaged.