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Explore the History of Wartime Aviation and More at the National Warplane Museum

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2019-04-18 19:38:00

Out in the Finger Lakes region, in the countryside near the town of Geneseo, there’s a very special museum paying tribute to America’s military history and veterans in a unique way. It’s called the National Warplane Museum, and it’s dedicated to preserving the aircraft and history of World War II and the Korean War, as well as honoring the brave people who have served our country at any time, in any way.

The museum was started by Austin Wadsworth in early 70's on his family’s farmland. He ran a small flight school, and soon he started putting on air shows. A museum followed suit, and both grew quickly in popularity, becoming a favorite area attraction among veterans and civilians alike.

Today, the National Warplane Museum holds a collection of WWII aircraft, some of which have been retired and some that still fly today. The collection includes the Boeing B-17; the C-47 “Whiskey 7”; the C-45 Expeditor; the Antonov AN-2; the Beechcraft UC-43 Staggerwing; and the Aeronca L-16A. Come for a visit and you can see them up close; a tour guide may even let you climb into the cockpit of some of them, or watch volunteers work on restoring a plane right before your eyes.

Besides the planes themselves, the museum houses a display area of model planes, plus WWII uniforms and other artifacts of the period like wartime Jeeps. A special exhibit area called “America at Home” is set up to look just like a typical American home at the time, with authentic items on display. You can even book a ride in some of the museum’s planes; with at expert pilot at the controls, you’re free to experience the most authentic experience with a real historic warplane that you’re likely to find anywhere.

Each summer, The National Warplane Museum’s Geneseo Airshow  takes place on site, known as 'The Greatest Show on Turf' due to the 5,000 foot grass runway in the museum’s backyard. The 2019 show, which will be held July 12-14, is extraspecial,since it will commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The museum’s C-47, the cargo transport plane that carried the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers into France on D-Day, will be a star of the show, as reenactors will parachute out of the aircraft and into a battle reenactment.

This very C-47 was flown back to Normandy in 2014 for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the last living veteran to jump out of that plane on D-Day was in attendance at that event; he plans to attend this one as well. There will also be plenty of other special guests and notable aircraft in attendance, including the United States Air Force A-10 Demo Team with the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the North American B-25J Mitchell, the only American military aircraft named for an individual, to name a few.

For more information about either the museum or the airshow, check out the National Warplane Museum’s website or follow them on social media. Hours vary between summer and winter, so make sure to check before you head out for the weekend!

Photo Credits

The B-17 “Movie Memphis Belle” in flight photo credit National Warplane Museum
Beech C-45 Expeditor photo credit Daniel Penfield
Douglas C-47 ‘Whiskey 7’ photo credit National Warplane Museum
A-10 Thunderbolt photo credit National Warplane Museum

posted at: 2019-04-18 19:38:00, last updated: 2019-04-18 19:59:01

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