News & Gallery
For Immediate Release:
“Hagerstown, Remembering Our Aviation Heritage” Documentary will air on Maryland Public Television
Following the premiere of “Our Town, Hagerstown”, Tuesday, June 14 at 9:30pm.
John Seburn President, Hagerstown Aviation Museum 717-597-9695
(Hagerstown, MD — June 9th, 2011) “The unique story of Hagerstown’s aviation past unfolds in this documentary film” said Kurtis Meyers, Curator, Hagerstown Aviation Museum. With many historic images and an extensive collection of rare local film footage, this documentary is sure to peak the interest of Fairchild Aircraft and Hagerstown aviation history enthusiasts everywhere! The story begins in 1916 with Giuseppi Bellanca and his design of airplanes for the Maryland Pressed Steel Company of Hagerstown. After the company closed, a former employee, Lew Reisner to begin the Reisner Aero Service in 1921. When local shoe manufacturer Ammon Kreider joined the company in 1925 it became the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company. The new company produced the famous Challenger series of airplanes before being purchased by Sherman Fairchild in 1929. Fairchild’s survival during the Great Depression and the Second World War secured a permanent bond between the community of Hagerstown and Fairchild that would last over five decades. These five decades saw the production of over 10,000 aircraft such as the F-24, the PT-19 Trainer, the C-82 Packet and C-119 Flying Boxcar as well as the last aircraft to roll out of the Fairchild factory in Hagerstown. The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately nicknamed the “Warthog”.
In 1962 native son Richard (Dick) Henson started The Hagerstown Commuter which became the Allegheny Commuter and then the Henson Piedmont Regional Airline. This pioneering effort began the development of the nation’s commuter airline industry.
“We are grateful to MPT for airing the documentary and sharing the story of Hagerstown’s significant aviation past,” said John Seburn, President, Hagerstown Aviation Museum.
Since the original airing of this program on MPT in July 2005, the Hagerstown Aviation Museum has received many donations of aircraft and artifacts. The museum now has over 15 aircraft, most of which were built in Hagerstown, including a rare Fairchild C-82, C-119, PT-19’s and others. The museum currently is not open to the public but is developing a Visitor and Education Center. The next major museum event is the Hagerstown Wings & Wheels Expo 2011 to be held October 15 and 16 at the Hagerstown Regional Airport. To learn more about museum activities and upcoming events go to: www.HagerstownAviationMuseum.org
- “Hagerstown, Remembering Our Aviation Heritage” MPT show information:
- “Our Town, Hagerstown” MPT show information: