Open Cockpit Day set Jan. 19 at New England Air Museum


WINDSOR LOCKS — The New England Air Museum will hold its next Open Cockpit Day on Sunday, Jan. 19. Visitors will be permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to 12 vintage aircraft, a full-motion flight simulator and two static flight simulators.
The aircraft to be open include the famous P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, the North American F-100 Super Sabre, a DC-3 airliner, and several helicopters.
As an added feature, the Wings & Wheels Modelers Club will present a plastic scale model show featuring hundreds of model airplanes, military vehicles, figures, ship and cars. There will be ongoing demonstrations by modelers who will be working on and building models throughout the day.
There also will be hands-on activities for younger visitors. A food vendor will be serving sandwiches, snacks, and hot and cold drinks. The event will be held inside the museum’s three large, heated display hangars.
The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for visitors 12 and older, $11 for seniors 65 and older, $6.50 for children 4 to 11. Children under 3 are admitted free.
Open Cockpit Day is also being planned fo Feb. 16 and March 16. The museum is planning special activities for the week of Feb. 17, which is a school vacation week in many towns.
Wings & Wheels, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the International Plastic Modelers Society, is open to anyone with an interest in modeling. The club, serving western New England, has monthly meetings to circulate modeling news, share tips and techniques, and display finished work and work in progress. The club holds an annual contest, ValleyCon, in Chicopee, Mass. Meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in West Springfield, Mass.
The New England Air Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England and is a private, nonprofit educational institution that was organized in 1959. Three hangars and an outdoor display contain more than 80 aircraft with permanent exhibits that include the oldest surviving aircraft in the U.S. — the 1870 Silas M. Brooks Balloon Basket, as well as an S-39 Amphibian plane — the first aircraft built in Connecticut by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Featured year-round are many historical aircraft and exhibits including a focus on World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, and a display about Amelia Earhart alongside a Lockheed Model 10 Electra – the same type of plane flown by the female aviator.
The air museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts, engaging visitors through high-quality exhibits helping them to understand aviation technology and history and inspiring students through innovative and hands-on educational programs. It is owned and operated by the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association and is governed by a volunteer board of directors, with four full-time employees, 18 part-time employees, and more than 175 volunteers.
The museum is at 36 Perimeter Road (off Route 75) on the north end of the Bradley International Airport airfield. For more information: , (860) 623-3305, or Facebook at New England Air Museum.

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