Aviation Sights Of Connecticut
With the exception, perhaps, of Ohio, no different state is more synonymous with aviation than Connecticut. Inextricably tied to lots of the world’s most famed aircraft, powerplant, and propeller manufacturers, it’s canvassed by the likes of Sikorsky Aircraft Company, Pratt and Whitney, Likelihood Vought, Avco Lycoming, Hamilton Standard, and the collective United Applied sciences. Lots of their helpful contributions can be viewed by visiting its aviation sights.
National Helicopter Museum
Sandwiched between Avco Lycoming at one end of Stratford and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation at the opposite, and situated in the abandoned, forty eight-foot-long eastbound Metro North Railroad Station, the Nationwide Helicopter Museum traces the technological and historical improvement of rotary-wing aircraft.
Brainchild of Dr. Raymond E. Jankovich, a local pediatrician, and Robert McCloud, founder of The Stratford Bard newspaper, it was conceptualized in 1978 because of its helicopter-related location and potential profit to the city. Its realty was cemented with a grant from Avco Lycoming.
Billing itself as the one such museum devoted to rotary-wing airplanes and opening in 1983, it’s completely run by volunteers, most of whom are former Sikorsky staff, and provides a chronologically-displayed photograph essay, fashions, and a few airframe sections which collectively hint helicopter design from nature, which aerial flight had traditionally tried to emulate, to the twenty first century.
The helicopter itself traces its origins to the Chinese flying tops recorded as early as the fourth century BC. Comprised of short, spherical sticks, they were affixed with “helicopter blade,” or airfoil-resembling, feathers. Rotated by both being rubbed back and forth or pulled by a string, they spun and their angled feathers generated lift, causing them to vertically ascend.
Leonardo da crude oil refining Vinci later made quite a few sketches of wing-flapping gliders, parachutes, and air screws capable of lifting people, the screws themselves product of linen in an effort to journey the air, about which he theorized, “when pressure generates swifter motion than the flight of the unresisting air, this air becomes compressed after the manner of feathers compressed and crushed by the burden of a sleeper. And the thing which drove the air, finding resistance in it, rebounds after the manner of a ball struck against a wall.”
The museum’s personal “In the beginning” display illustrates these early ideas. Man’s first rotary wing was the prehistoric boomerang, which led to the Chinese top and da Vinci’s Helix, the primary recorded “helicopter” design.
Its “Early Goals” drawings, from 1843, depict each spherical, fan-resembling and aspect-by-side rotors, whereas those generated by Sir George Cayley were flatter, forming a wing in flight.
The “Early Prophets” survey indicates that the first successful, powered ascent reached a 40-foot top throughout a 20-second flight.
A 60-rotor helicopter, designed by Gustave Whitehead in 1911, appears within the “Before Sikorsky” assortment, while the “Worldwide Achievements” panel depicts the event interval between 1930 and 1935.
Professor E. H. Henrich, as evidenced from the “German Ascendency” panel, formed a new company to pursue his dreams of designing a rotary-wing aircraft after serving as Focke-Wulfe’s Design Chief, and it made a 28-second flight on June 26, 1936.
A mural entitled “Delivery of First Flight” and obtained from the Sikorsky manufacturing unit shows a short timeline of his designs beginning with the VS-300-V1 of 1942.
Engine improvement can be gleaned from “The Gas Turbine Revolution.” The steam engine, for example, had a lot structural weight to support then-identified vertical elevate technology, but the lighter gasoline powerplant, appearing simply after the turn-of-the-century, was ubiquitously used. The relatively mild, yet powerful rotary engine had been employed through the 1920s for helicopter experimentation, its complete cylinder block rotating round a stationary crankshaft and thus producing vital, air flow-created cylinder cooling.
The “State of Artwork in Crafts” survey showcases the significant helicopter manufacturers, including Sikorsky, Bell, Hughes, Kaman, Piasecki, Boeing-Vertol, and Robinson, while a half-dozen display cases characteristic rotary-wing models.
Regardless of the museum’s small measurement and artifact dimension-limiting door, it however shows several precise helicopter components. The primary rotor of an S-fifty eight, for instance-weighing a hundred and ten pounds and measuring 28 feet from its rotational heart-is viewable close to a Sikorsky S-76 tail rotor blade assembly. Engines embrace an Avco Lycoming T800-APW-800 turbine and a T55-L-714, which powered such Boeing designs as the CH-47 Chinook, the Mannequin 234, the MH-47E Chinook, and the Model 360. Additionally featured are an RAH-sixty six Sikorsky “shadow” Commanche fly-by-wire take a look at mockup, and the cockpit part of a Sikorsky S-76 in utility/offshore oil configuration; the design has a forty three.4-foot fuselage size, a 44-foot rotor diameter, and may obtain 155-knot forward airspeeds.
The museum supplies a small, however precious venue by way of which rotary-wing expertise and historical past, often discounted in aviation research, but here singularly answerable for Stratford’s very existence, crude oil refining can be explored.
New England Air Museum
Situated in Windsor Locks subsequent to Bradley Worldwide Airport, the new England Air Museum is the largest such aviation facility within the northeast, showcasing greater than 80 aircraft and sometimes specializing in Connecticut aeronautical achievements in some 75,000 sq. ft of indoor exhibition house, which is subdivided into three hangars. Its complete collection encompasses 125 airframes and 200 engines.
The Army Exhibit Hangar, as an illustration–focusing on pure-jet fighters–features such aircraft as the Republic 105B Thunderchief, the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, the North American F-86F Sabre, the Grumman F-14B Tomcat, the Fairchild/Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II, and the North American F-100A Tremendous Sabre.
Its earliest design, a Sikorsky S-sixteen biplane, hails from 1915. That includes a 19.33-foot size and 26.25-foot wingspan, the fighter, with an 897-pound empty weight, rests on a quad-wheeled important gear and a tail wheel to facilitate delicate subject operations, and was the primary with a propeller arc-synchronized machine gun. It attained seventy four-mph maximum speeds.
World Conflict II-period fighters include the Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat and Connecticut’s own Vought F4U-four Corsair, the latter proudly sporting its traditional, inverted-gull wings and seemingly oversized prop. The museum’s example bears the identify of one of the more famous Marine pilots who fought in the Pacific Theatre, “Pappy Boyington.”
World Struggle II bombers are represented by the North American B-25H Mitchell, the high-wing, twin-engine, medium-range aircraft which had served on every entrance with the Air Drive, the Navy, and a number of other nations, together with England, France, China, and the Soviet Union, in the roles of low- and medium-level bomber, anti-submarine patrol, and transport, in addition to having flown the well-known Doolittle Raid. The brand new England Air Museum’s instance is the last surviving B-25H variant and essentially the most heavily armed used by the allies, with a.75-mm nostril cannon, eight forward-going through.50 caliber machine guns, and 6.50 caliber dorsal-, waist-, and tail turret-mounted machine guns.
A number of rotary-wing aircraft, together with the Bell UH-1B Iroquois, the Kaman K-225, and the Kaman HH-43H, round out the gathering.
The Harvey H. Lippincott Civil Aviation Hangar sparkles with some uncommon gems.
The Silas H. Brooks balloon basket, for example, is each the oldest-surviving basket and portion of a lighter-than-air craft on this planet. Brooks, of Plymouth, Connecticut, had constructed and flown his hot air balloon over Hartford and New Haven, accommodated in a five-foot-long, 200-pound wicker basket made in about 1870. In the present day, it may be viewed in a glass case at the entrance to the hangar.
Another pioneer piece, a 1912 replica of a Curtiss Mannequin D Pusher biplane constructed by Howard Bunce, is the museum’s oldest-surviving, heavier-than-air craft and one that had been born on Connecticut soil.
The results of his a number of Model D inspections, it first appeared on paper as his own sketches earlier than being sublimated to particular person, and then assembled, components, powered by a nonstandard four-cylinder, air-cooled engine built by Nels J. Nelson of latest Britain, Connecticut. Although it had risen only some toes off the bottom and then crashed at the Berlin Fair Floor because of insufficient power, it lent itself to a second replica in the type of cannibalized parts, and this example, found in a barn in 1962, had been reassembled for museum exhibit with a 30-hp Kemp I-4 engine.
Different pioneer designs include a Bleriot XI monoplane from 1909 and a Nixon Particular from 1918.
Another portion of a lighter-than-air craft on show is a Goodyear ZNP-K management automobile from a 1942 Ok-28 non-rigid airship, and biplanes are represented by a 1930 Gee Bee Model A, a 1930 Laird LC-DW 300 Answer, and a 1933 Viking “Kitty Hawk” Model B-eight.
Two historically important, early-piston airliners are also viewable.
The primary of these, the Lockheed 10A Electra, is a twin-engined, low-wing, ten-passenger, tail-wheeled design which was the producer’s first all-metallic airframe and supplied the foundation for the larger L-14 and L-18 Lodestar. The museum’s example, bearing serial number 1052, had first been delivered to the US Navy in 1936 to be used as a workers transport.
The second, an equally twin-engined, tail-wheeled aircraft, is the Douglas DC-three, probably the most massively produced, multiple-function, military and civilian design, which for the primary time enabled operators to generate a revenue solely with the transport of passengers and thus revolutionized the airline business. Dubbed “one of many four most important weapons of World Warfare II” by Normal Eisenhower, it still plies the skies more than three-quarters of a century after it first took to them.
The museum’s DC-three, with greater than fifty three,four hundred airborne hours in its logbook, served in several capacities, initially in a military function as a C-47 transport after which a business one with Eastern Airways, Purdue University, and quite a few smaller carriers.
Center- and showpiece of the Civil Aviation Hangar, nonetheless, is each the biggest airframe in it and the only surviving example of the Connecticut-designed and -constructed Sikorsky VS-44A Excambrian. One in all three accomplished in 1942 for American Export Airways’ nonstop transatlantic routes, the excessive-wing, quad-engined, lengthy-range, flying boat-hulled airliner, with a 79.25-foot size, 124-foot wingspan, and 57,500-pound gross weight, was procured for warfare operations, transporting precedence passengers and cargo underneath Army and Navy contracts before serving with several charter airways. In depth injury resulted in its 1968 service withdrawal.
Barged from the Gulf of Mexico to Bridgeport, it was subjected to an intensive restoration by the staff of Sikorsky staff who had been instrumental in crude oil refining its unique construction.
At present, the aircraft, draped in its original American Export Airways livery, bristles with a first manufacturing unit rollout look.
Another, and just about solely, centerpiece-in this case, in the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial Hangar-is the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the hangar itself named after the wing which had been instrumental in World Struggle II Japanese defeat. The silver, sleek, 135,000-pound, quad-engined, 3,250-mile bomber stretches 99 feet in size and sports a 141.25-foot wingspan, and carries eleven crew members. Dropping the atom bomb over Japan, it closed the final curtain on the Pacific Theatre.
Poised outside, as if awaiting passengers, is a Sud-Aviation SE.210 Caravelle, the world’s first brief-range, pure-jet airliner. That includes the nostril part originally designed for the de Havilland Comet; modestly-swept, low wings; triangular-formed passenger windows; two aft-mounted, Rolls Royce Avon engines; and a cross-of-Loraine tail, the sleek aircraft served as the basis of most subsequent twin-jet configurations, such as the British Aircraft Company BAC-111, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-9, and the Fokker F.28 Fellowship. 2 hundred eighty Caravelles of all versions had been constructed.
Operated by United Airways, Sterling Airways of Denmark, and small package service Airborne Specific, it discovered its way to the museum after the latter service had donated it.
Except for the aircraft, the new England Air Museum features a number of themed exhibits, some of which showcase Connecticut’s aviation contributions, including “Historical past of Sikorsky Aircraft,” “Lafayette Escadrille,” “AVG Flying Tigers,” “Tuskegree Airmen,” and “History of Pratt and Whitney.” There can also be an Aviation Pioneer’s Theater.
Open-cockpit days, laptop flight simulators, audio tours, speakers, particular events, workshops, academic packages, an aviation analysis library, and a sizable Wings ‘n’ Issues gift store round out its offerings.
Sikorsky Memorial Airport
Tracing its origins to the grass-covered Avon Discipline racetrack, which had been conducive to early aircraft experimentation and had hosted the nation’s first air show in 1911, Sikorsky Memorial Airport, a publicly-owned facility in Stratford, later turned often called “Mollison Area” after the 1933 crash-touchdown there by Captain Jim Mollison throughout his transatlantic try.
Despite its location, it had been redesignated “Bridgeport Municipal Airport” four years later when the town of Bridgeport itself had bought it.
Because of Connecticut’s prevalence of aircraft and engine manufacturers, it had been thought-about a part of the “Arsenal of Democracy” during World Warfare II, and was subsequently renamed “Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport” in 1972 in honor of the man who had remodeled town into the birthplace of the helicopter and whose factory had been largely chargeable for its growth.
As we speak, its services include a passenger terminal with airline verify-in counters, three gates, a restaurant, and car rental desks; a basic aviation terminal; private hangars; and two runways–four,677-foot Runway 6/24 and 4,761-foot Runway eleven/29. There can be a 40- by forty-foot helipad.
Progressive service discontinuation by three regional carriers, including Continental Connection in 1994, Delta Connection in 1997, and US Airways Express in 1999, had occurred because current runway lengths prohibited larger, extra worthwhile aircraft operations, though scheduled, industrial, rotary-wing service had been reinstated after a seven-yr interval by US Helicopter with its return-to-roots helicopter operations to New York’s Downtown Heliport. Wiggins Airways supplies FedEx Feeder cargo and small bundle service to the sector.