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For Immediate Release:

Sep. 18th Fairchild Reunion Scheduled, New Hagerstown Aviation Heritage Movie to Premier

Contact:

Greg Larsen
Telephone: 240-313-2777
FAX: 301-791-2590
Deaf and Hard of Hearing call 
  7-1-1 for Maryland Rely 

(Hagerstown, MD September 1, 2004) -- Planning is well underway for a new community event: "Fairchild Airplanes & the People Who Built Them," scheduled for Saturday, September 18, from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., at the Rider Jet Center located at Hagerstown Regional Airport. The event, which features a display of vintage airplanes and Fairchild memorabilia, will also host an A-10 pilot?s reunion.

A committee made up of interested community supporters has been planning the special event. Organizers say that this year's event is much more than a Fairchild Industries Reunion.

An A-10 demonstration will be held at 3:00 p.m., a program of remarks will begin at 3:30 p.m., and a PREMIER showing of a new movie by Vintage Video Productions, "Hagerstown: Remembering Our Aviation Heritage" will be at 4:30 p.m. Food will be provided by the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Company. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the videos will be donated to the Washington County Free Library's Transportation Room project.

According to Tom Riford, President and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, all former-Fairchild employees and families are urged to come, "This event is a free community celebration of aviation in Hagerstown, and also is becoming known as a Fairchild employees' reunion. Hagerstown used to make the best airplanes in the world, and still has an impact on aviation businesses today. It's been estimated that more than 55,000 people worked at Fairchild over the course of all of the years of its entire existence. It used to be a big employer here, however Hagerstown is still a strong contributor to the state's aviation economy." More than 20 aviation-related businesses are currently located at the airport, and in recognizing Hagerstown Regional Airport's importance, the federal government is providing funding for a major runway extension project.

Hagerstown began its aviation prominence, with the Bellanca/Aeronca in 1916. In 1925, Ammon Kreider (a shoe manufacturer) and Lew Reisner founded the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company of Hagerstown, and in 1929 it became the Fairchild Aviation Corporation. The company produced thousands of aircraft popular in commercial, military and general aviation including the PT-19, C-119 Flying Boxcar, C-123, A-10 and many others. Today, at Hagerstown Regional Airport and also at the 34 airports across the state, more than 111,000 jobs are generated by the Maryland aviation industry.

According to the Fairchild September 18th Committee Chair Marsha Fuller, "This exciting event will show that Hagerstown has a strong aviation heritage, and the opportunity for aviation businesses to still thrive. The A-10 combat pilots who will be attending the event have already communicated with us that they are truly excited to meet the former-Fairchild employees who built their sturdy attack aircraft so many years ago. Pilots of small airplanes have also been invited to fly in for the event, and we expect a great turnout." Fuller said that the Washington County Free Library is a big supporter of the event. "Transportation is a big part of our county's history, aviation and Fairchild's influence is incredibly important." The library is undertaking the initial stages of a Transportation Room, dedicated to its contributions throughout Washington County's history.

The "host hotel" for the event is the Plaza Hotel. Reservations can be made by calling 800-732-0906, or interested travelers can make online reservations at www.plazahotelhagerstown.com and mention the "Rider Jet Center" password for special rates. The hotel has a free shuttle that will take visitors to the event. Tables, displays, and memorabilia will be on display inside the Rider Jet Center's massive main hangar, while aircraft will be displayed in adjacent apron areas.

According to Greg Larsen, the Hagerstown Regional Airport's Business Development Director, "This event will be an exciting time for our airport." The A-10 is still in service today, and has seen critical combat duty in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The last A-10 rolled off the Hagerstown Fairchild assembly line, and was delivered to the US Air Force in 1984. "This is the 20th Anniversary of the last aircraft made here, and we're expecting a great deal of interest."

Co-sponsoring the event are the Washington County Free Library; Washington County Government; the Hagerstown-Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Hagerstown Regional Airport; Rider Jet Service; A.C. & T. Company, Inc.; and Vintage Video Productions. For more information, contact 301-739-3250 ext. 128. To view more information about the event, see: http://www.marylandmemories.org/proof/fairchild/index.html.

Aircraft expected to be on display include: Stearman, Goose, Albatross, DC-3, F-24 (built by Fairchild), PT-19 (built by Fairchild), KR-31 (built by Kreider-Reisner), WACO biplane, T-6, F-27 (Fairchild), Grumman Widgeon, L-16 Aeronica, and three antique Luscombe aircraft. A-10 aircraft have also been confirmed.

Rider Jet Center is on the north side of the Hagerstown Regional Airport, enter via Henson Boulevard from Route 11. Parking for the event will be at the Citicorp Credit services parking lot, and a shuttle will be available to take people to the Rider Jet Center event. There is limited parking at Rider Jet Center, but cars can drop off passengers, and park in the nearby Citicorp lot.

For more information about Vintage Video, and about the premier showing of the new movie: "Hagerstown: Remembering Our Aviation Heritage", see: www.vintagevideo.com

For more information about the Hagerstown Regional Airport, see: http://www.flyhagerstown.com.

For more information about the Washington County Free Library, see: http://www.wc-link.org/wcfl/

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