World War Two B-17 “Yankee Lady” Prepares for Barnstorming Bridgeport-Stratford

Yankee Lady Bridgeprot stratfordApril 27, 2015— Yankee Lady, the meticulously restored World War II Boeing B-17G heavy bomber will be flying into Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Stratford Connecticut and Three Wing Aviation on Monday, May 18.  The estimated time of arrival is 11:00 a.m. This Flying Fortress, the historic four-engine flagship of the Yankee Air Museum based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, will be available for tours and Flight Experience (FLEX) rides the entire afternoon and through Wednesday, May 20.

“We’re really excited to have this aircraft operate from our base,” exclaimed Jared Gowlis of Three Wing Aviation. “The fact that Yankee Lady is one of only nine Forts still flying puts an exclamation point on it.”

Gowlis explained that Three Wing Aviation is always interested in having significant attractions saying this appearance by Yankee Lady will keep interest high and eyes skyward reminding people there are cool things going on at their airport.

The Yankee Lady appearance in this the 70th Anniversary year of the end of World War II also coincides with special events being planned by the Connecticut Air and Space Center, located near the airport.  The Center has recently leased a WWII era Curtiss Hangar and will be restoring it.

“We’re planning a brief ribbon cutting and the Yankee Lady will taxi into the ceremony and park alongside the Corsair we’re restoring,” said Ed McGuinness, Treasurer of the Connecticut Air and Space Center.  “It will be a moment to remember and I’m sure it’ll be a great photo opportunity.”

McGuinness explained the significance of the B-17 was its mission to bomb strategic targets in daylight precision raids.  Some airstrikes would have up to 1000 planes flying in waves over enemy industrial targets. This campaign, he says, crippled the enemy’s ability to make war and helped liberate Europe.

“As a late G-model, our Flying Fortress was originally delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force on July 16, 1945 with natural metal finish,” said Norm Ellickson, B-17 Crew Chief.  “Recently, we washed off the grime that accumulates during the winter maintenance cycle.  Then we had the 20th Annual Bomber Buffing and about 300 people came out to help us.  This massive effort combining elbow grease with Mothers ™ Aluminum Polish gives the Lady’s skin a mirror-like shine.”

Ellickson said it’s impossible to keep planes like the Yankee Lady B-17 in pristine condition without community support at home and everywhere they fly.  He credits local Stratford resident and aircraft enthusiast Nancy Cole with superstar efforts to enlist sponsors to help make the Bridgeport-Stratford mission possible.

“We carry a crew of ten volunteers to conduct flight operations,” said Ellickson. “We burn 200 gallons of high octane aviation fuel an hour, and the cost of spare parts is amazing.  Having meals, rooms and ground transportation sponsored helps us hold the line on our flight experience prices.”

Ellickson thanks the Windsock Restaurant for lunch on Monday and Knapps Landing for dinner.  He also thanks Stanziele’s Restaurant for hosting the crew for dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Hampton Inn is providing much appreciated ground transportation, breakfast and lodging.

“These sponsors are telling us that living history is important.  They’re invested in honoring the legacy of World War II Veterans and America’s Greatest Generation and we are too,” continued Ellickson. “Their support means the donations we receive can be invested back into the airplane, to keep her flying.” Ellickson said ground tours cost $5.00 for adults aged 15 and above; $2.00 for kids aged 6 to 15 and all others are free.  A ride is a 45-minute experience with approximately 30 minutes of flight time and costs $450.00.  To order a B-17 FLEX ride or to obtain a gift certificate, call 734-483-4030, extension 236.

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About Yankee Air Museum:  Established in 1981, the Yankee Air Museum is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization located on the grounds of historic Willow Run Airport in Michigan. For more information about YAM call 734-483-4030 or visit the www.yankeeairmuseum.org website.  For a 90 second video glimpse into a FLEX Ride aboard our aircraft visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rkfBZgPnQI

About Three Wing Aviation:  Located at Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport (West Ramp/General Aviation Parking) 400 Great Meadow Road, Stratford, CT 06615 and founded in 1974 by Andy Pothanszky, Three Wing Aviation has been providing aircraft rental, flight instruction, fuel sales and aircraft maintenance ever since. In July of 2012 Jared Gowlis, Anthony DiNuzzo and Robert Russo took over ownership of Three Wing as Three Wing Aviation, LLC.   For more information, visit the www.threewing.com website.

About the Connecticut Air & Space Center:  Located in Stratford, near Sikosrky Memorial Airport, the Connecticut Air & Space Center is a 501 (c)(3) charitable corporation dedicated to honoring the pioneers of early aviation, restoring and preserving examples of the aircraft they flew, and educating current and future generations about Connecticut’s unique aviation heritage.  For more information, visit the www.ctairandspace.org website.

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USMC Sikorsky Airpower

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Dropping In U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released

 

U.S. Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force fast-rope from an  Sikorsky MH-60R during maritime interoperability training off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., Jan. 16, 2015. The training prepares the Marines for their upcoming deployment by enhancing their combat skills, and teaching them techniques for boarding vessels.

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 Special Delivery U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Evan R. White/Released

 

Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), assigned to the combat cargo division of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), secure a pallet during an underway replenishment aboard the Makin Island, Jan. 6, 2014. The 11th MEU is deployed with Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Home Sweet Home  U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Demetrius Morgan/Released

 

 

Marines with Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), off-load from a CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced), 11th MEU, aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Dec. 12. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Roads 3rd Annual Igor Day was a Great Success!

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Our team had a wonderful day at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford.  We appreciated Brad Hittle,  Two Roads management and staff for allowing and accommodating us so we could be a part of the event, celebrating one of aviation’s true pioneer’s, Igor I Sikorsky.  Igor Sikorsky’s sons as well as Two Roads Brewmaster Phil Markowski were there to sign bottles and autographs.  Most amazingly of all, Two Roads Brewing Company is donating 10% of the bar proceeds to go to the Connecticut Air and Space Center’s Hangar Restoration fund.

A Huge,Huge, Thank You from all of us at the Connecticut Air & Space Center to the guys and gals at Two Roads Brewing Company! It’s good to know when you decide to take the “road less traveled” that we have great friends to share it with.

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3rd Bottle Release of Igor Sikorsky’s Imperial Stout at the Two Roads Brewing Company on Saturday January 24th

10922429_584497434984761_1703600647390804760_nThe Connecticut Air & Space Center has been invited to attend the 3rd Bottle Release of Igor Sikorsky’s Imperial Stout at the Two Roads Brewing Company on Saturday January 24th. Doors open @ 11 am. Bottle sales will start at noon. There will be a coffee and breakfast truck outside selling their products. Two Roads have also requested a small display on the Curtiss Hanger Renovation Project at which we will show our project to the public and collect donations. The Sikorsky Archives will also have a nice display where in the past one of Igor’s sons signed your bottles or books.

If you have time on Saturday the 24th please try to attend and support Two Roads. We have attended the previous years and really enjoyed it! Two Roads has supported the Connecticut Air & Space Center and have bigger plans for their support this coming year! So lets have a good showing to return the favor!

Thank You
Hope to see you there!!!!

Two Roads Brewing Company
1700 Stratford Ave Stratford CT 06615

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Museum Acquires Rare Safety Badge

CV_Safety CommittieWe were very lucky to acquire a very rare Chance Vought Committee, Green Cross, Enamel Lapel Pin.  It measures 1 1/4 inch x 1 1/8 inch, about the size of a half dollar. It was originally owned by an employee at Chance Vought who worked at the factory from the 1930’s till after moving to Texas. Plant and Workers safety were and still are big issues in factories. This pin dates from around 1947, prior to Chance Vought’s move to Texas.

The Green Cross is part of the National Safety Council.

The nation’s leading safety advocate for more than 100 years, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

The museum is always seeking unique worker related items to help tell the story of building aviation in Connecticut. Uniforms, coveralls, pins, documents, photos and personal items such as tools help us communicate a richer story.  If you have something like this from Sikorsky, Chance Vought, AVCO, Kaman, Pratt & Whitney or others please reach out to us and help save our history for the next generation. Please contact casc@ctairandspace.org.

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 Connecticut Air & Space Center sponsors Toys-for-Tots drive in Stratford.

TFT_CASC_2014_ver03-01In concert with the United States Marine Corps, the Connecticut Air & Space Center (CASC) is conducting its fifth consecutive toy drive for children in need.

According to Ed McGuiness, Treasurer for CASC, “We’ve been very successful in past years in helping children enjoy their holiday of giving with toys they would not otherwise have. This is a very special time for us and our team will assure the toys that are donated are delivered in time for them to enjoy. Please donate toys by December 20.”

McGuiness noted that all toys to be donated should not be wrapped and in the containers in which they came.

Drop-off box at CASC for museum volunteers donations.

Drop-off box at CASC for museum volunteers donations.

Drop-off points in Stratford:

Stanziales Restaurant
595 Main St.
(203) 377-1411

Volo Aviation
900 Great Meadow Rd
(203) 381-6000

VFW Post 9460
100 Veterans Blvd.
(203) 377-9112

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Connecticut Air & Space Center to restore Vietnam Era helicopter

Rescuing a Hero - The Hughes OH-6A 67-16477 was operated by the Westchester County Police Aviation Unit for almost 20 years. - Westchester County Police Officer Brian Powers, CASC Volunteer Raymond Miller, Executive Director Andrew King and Westchester County Police Officer & Pilot Sean Lonergan

Rescuing a Hero – The Hughes OH-6A 67-16477 was operated by the Westchester County Police Aviation Unit for almost 20 years. – Westchester County Police Officer Brian Powers, CASC Volunteer Raymond Miller, Executive Director Andrew King and Westchester County Police Officer & Pilot Sean Lonergan

November 14, 2014 – The Connecticut Air & Space Center announced today it will begin work on the restoration of a light observation helicopter (LOH), Hughes OH-6A 67-16477, that saw service in Vietnam in 1969.

“We will be restoring this ship to its original color scheme and proper markings,”
said Andrew King, Executive Director of the Center, who studied the background of this aircraft for several months and has been in touch with the pilot. He noted the aircraft was acquired from General Services Administration .

The LOH flew transport and courier missions and also reconnaissance missions some of them to flush out small pockets of the enemy from the brush at low altitudes.

“What is a coincidence is one our volunteers may have actually flown on this aircraft as he, the pilot and the aircraft were assigned the second brigade headquarters company of the 101st Airborne Division at the same time.”

King noted the Center has civilian and military aircraft from World War II, Korea and the Cold War and that many are now undergoing restoration at its shop in Stratford, Connecticut.

The Connecticut Air & Space Center is a 501( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to honoring the pioneers of early aviation history, restoring and preserving examples of the aircraft they flew and educating this and future generations of their aviation history. The Center relies solely on volunteer work and donations for its operation.

Media please contact
Ron Kurtz
CASC Public Relations
Mark6268@sbcglobal.net

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