News & Gallery
For Immediate Release:
Hagerstown Aviation Museum - Donation of Three Rare Historic Aircraft Announced
Kurtis Meyers Hagerstown-Aviation Museum 301-733-8717 or 717-377-3030
Tom Riford Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau 301-791-3246
(HAGERSTOWN, MD March 2007) ? The Hagerstown Aviation Museum hosted a special reception for Museum members and donors who helped secure and return the Fairchild C?82 Packet, the last flyable Fairchild C?82 Packet ?Flying Boxcar? to Hagerstown, Maryland where it was manufactured over sixty years ago.
The aircraft was purchased in August 2006 and after mechanical work, flown home on October 15, from Greybull, Wyoming. According to Kurtis Meyers, President of Hagerstown Aviation Museum, ?This historic aircraft acquisition was the impetus for securing additional aircraft donations that exceed a half-million dollars in value."
Meyers explained: ?This museum was an idea for aviation buffs for more than 15 years, so we decided to collect airplanes and aviation artifacts towards a goal of opening a truly educational and exciting aviation museum. The C?82 was a windfall for us, as it has led to acquiring three additional war era airplanes for the museum.?
Hagerstown Aviation Museum Hosts Enthusiastic, Standing-Room Only Group of Aviation Buffs of all Ages. Donation of Three Rare Historic Aircraft Announced to the More than 300 Museum Members and Donors, Aviation Enthusiasts, Families and Friends
Frank Lamm, of Gainesville, Virginia piloted the historic return flight home. He recalled the adventurous and emotional last flight of the one-of-a-kind aircraft. A large screen presentation of museum history, the new airplanes acquired by donations, and the auction purchase and return flight of the C?82 was shown to an enthusiastic crowd estimated at more than 300. Lamm was given a standing ovation.
?What was really important for the museums future," according to John Seburn, Museum treasurer, was ?how the community came together in July of 2006 and raised $140,000 for the museum to buy the 1945 C?82 Packet 'Flying Boxcar' at auction.?
?I was so impressed with, the community's support of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum," said Bob Stanford of Zenith Aviation in Fredericksburg, Virginia, ?that I felt I had to donate the 1953 Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar.? Also donated was a 1949 North American AT-6G Texan by Genevieve Booth of Whitehall, MT. It still needs some restoration to fly, and a third plane: a 1943 PT-19A in restored, flying condition was donated by Stan Crippen of Ft. Pierce, FL.
President and CEO of Hagerstown and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tom Riford said: ?With the addition of these three airplanes the Hagerstown Aviation Museum has in two years acquired ten aircraft. All of these aircraft are owned by the museum, and we understand that it is the largest museum-owned collection of airplanes in the State of Maryland. There are other excellent aviation museums, but many of their airplanes are on loan.?
Riford said that when a permanent home for the aircraft is completed, that visitors would flock to Hagerstown. "This town made the best airplanes in the world. We have an aviation history of over 90 years. To have this many aircraft on display, most of which were made right here in Hagerstown, makes the Hagerstown Aviation Museum a singularly extraordinary collection." Tens of thousands of former Fairchild employees are located in the area around Hagerstown, where the aircraft company operated for decades.
After the announcement of the donation of the C-119, Pilot Frank Lamm said that he is "first in line" to fly the extremely rare C-119 Flying Boxcar home to Hagerstown. "I?ll fight anybody who tries to get ahead of me,? he said to much applause and appreciative laughter. "It would be a dream come true, and the most thrilling possible ending to my long flying career." When asked by a reporter if the C-119 flight would be his last, Lamm became too emotional to respond.
The special March 18th reception and donation announcement also included the outline of plans for the building of a permanent museum facility at the airport. President Kurtis Meyers began the presentation with a video of the renowned aviation pioneer, the late Richard Henson. The famous test pilot, and founder of commuter air travel, said in archival interview footage of Hagerstown's aviation history: "I was excited when I heard of the possibility of building a museum. The heritage of aviation in Hagerstown and Washington County is so great. You have so much to be proud of that you need a museum to carry that history forward."
The non-profit, tax-exempt Hagerstown Aviation Museum needs help. Volunteers and donations are definitely invited. The after-purchase costs for repairing and returning the C?82, as well as their other airplanes have been significant. The Hagerstown Aviation Museum needs additional continued support from the community to preserve and maintain Hagerstown's aviation history, and to continue to work towards building the museum's permanent facility.
The museum's updated website: www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org. Find out how you can acquire your copy of the Official Publication of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, Inc.: ?The New Pegasus? full of aviation information and history. Also, how to become a Museum member.