Museum slates summertime activities

Balloon Race 2

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – The New England Air Museum will hold family fun programs starting June 30.

Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to put their creativity and problem solving skills to use at the Engineering Design activities offered throughout the summer. Learn about flight, aircraft design, and aerodynamic principles.

Visitors also will have the chance to get up close and personal with the museum’s 80 display aircraft.

Open CockpitA variety of activities will be offered each day such as build and fly challenge activities, flight science demonstrations and the chance to sit in the cockpit of an aircraft.

The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will be open each of these days between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls.

Additional activities are scheduled for the following weeks:

June 30 – July 6 Build and Race an Air Trolley: In small groups, design and build a trolley that will race down a nylon line. Two trolleys powered by rubber bands and propellers will race each other on two parallel tracks, the faster of the two trolleys will be the winner. The winner of each heat will compete against each other until there is one winner for each half-hour block.

July 7-13 Build and Race Balloon Rockets: Design a rocket balloon that will move faster than the other competing rocket balloons.

July 14-16 Zip Line Challenge: Given certain materials, design and build something that can carry a Ping-Pong ball the fastest from the top of a zip line string to the bottom.

July 17-20 Straw Rocket Competition: Design a rocket built around a straw that will fly to a specified target using a compressed air launcher.

DSC_0056July 21-22 Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth LEGO Competition: The New England Air Museum will provide the LEGO bricks that entrants need to participate. Prizes will be awarded for the age groups: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. Start your research today on the many missions NASA has planned to explore our universe beyond planet Earth and imagine the aircraft and vehicles that will be needed to accomplish these exciting goals.

July 23-27 Parachute Drop: With a given weight, design a parachute that will take the longest to drop to the ground.

July 28-30 Rotochute: Given a specific drop zone, build a rotochute that will drop to the ground. The slowest wins. Teams compete against each other until a winner is determined for each half hour slot.

July 31-August 3 Egg Drop: Design, build, and test a contraption that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 20 feet.

August 4-8 Bottle Rockets: Build a rocket onto an inverted water bottle using materials provided. Given 60 psi of compressed air, design the rocket to launch as high as possible and carry a half cup of water.

August 9-10 Helicopter 2050 LEGO Challenge: Create a helicopter of 2050 that helps overcome today’s global challenges. Themuseum will provide the LEGO bricks that entrants need to participate. Prizes will be awarded by the Museum for the age groups: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

August 11-13 Blimp Maze: Design and build a blimp using a helium balloon that will float at shoulder height. The blimp should be designed to be blown through a simple maze in the fastest time possible.

August 14-17 Hot Air Balloon Race: Design and build a balloon that will lift with hot air and race it to the ceiling.

Balloon Race 2August 18-22 Straw Gliders: Design a glider built around a straw that will glide the longest distance possible in a straight line.

The New England Air Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England and is a private, non-profit educational institution that was organized in 1959. Three larger hangars and an outdoor display contain more than 80 aircraft with permanent exhibits that include the oldest surviving aircraft in the U.S. – the 1870 Silas M. Brooks Balloon Basket, as well as an S-39 Amphibian plane, the first aircraft built in Connecticut by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky.

Featured year-round are many historical aircraft and exhibits including a focus on World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, and a display about Amelia Earhart alongside a Lockheed Model 10 Electra – the same type of plane flown by the female aviator.

The museum, owned by the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association, is on the north end of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and features a large gift shop.

For more information:

New book prompts search for Wright factory workers’ descendants


DAYTON, Ohio — The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) will use the launch of a new book about the Wright brothers to connect with descendants of the Wright Company’s factory workers.

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D-Day remembered at museum

SEATTLE — On Saturday, June 7, The Museum of Flight remembers the 70th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day invasion.

At 1:30 p.m. there will be a presentation about the Douglas C-47 transport aircraft (DC-3 in civilian service), and how the rugged, twin-engine plane was used during the D-Day operation.

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Five World War II pilots to speak in commemoration of D-Day


At a Living History Flying Day event Saturday, June 7, at Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, Calif., a panel of aviation experts, historians and veterans will be featured to commemorate D-Day.

The P-47 Thunderbolt will be on display and perform a flight demonstration.

Speakers include Robert J. Friend, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Sandy Ross, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Tom Glenn, Captain USAAF (Ret.), Martin “Marty” Engler, Jr., Lt. USAF (Ret.), Joseph G. Preston, Lt. USAF (Ret.), and Kevin Thompson, moderator and aviation historian.

New England Air Museum to hold open cockpit event for Father’s Day


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – The New England Air Museum will hold its next Open Cockpit event on Sunday, June 15, Father’s Day. On that day, visitors will be permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to 12 vintage aircraft, a full-motion flight simulator and two static flight simulators.

The aircraft to be open include the North American F-100 Super Sabre, the WWII P-47 Thunderbolt, the A-10 “Warthog”, the F-104 Starfighter, several helicopters and more.

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Is Dad an aviation buff?

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Teens can learn to fly high at museum’s Aviation Adventure


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Free concerts at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Air and Space Museum’s summer concert series returns to the museum in Washington, D.C., and its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., this summer. Visitors can bring a picnic and enjoy the warm weather at the outdoor performances at the Udvar-Hazy Center or catch a military band performance at the National Mall building every Friday.

The summer concert series at the Udvar-Hazy center will take place on select Sundays, June 8 through Aug. 31, from 6 to 7 p.m. and will feature U.S. Military bands and local ensembles.

Udvar-Hazy Center Summer Concert Series Schedule

Sunday, June 8: The U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note and Air Force Strings

Sunday, June 29: U.S. Navy Band, The Commodores

Sunday, July 6: U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants

Sunday, July 27: Loudoun County Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, Aug 3: U.S. Air Force Band, Max Impact

Sunday, Aug. 31: Quantico Marine Corps Rock Band

Tickets are not required, and parking is free after 4 p.m. Audience members will be invited to bring picnic snacks and blankets or lawn chairs but may not be permitted to bring them inside the museum. Pets are prohibited. Concerts will be held inside the museum if it rains.

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington will also offer a series of free summer concerts every Friday from May 23 to Aug. 29. Each Friday will consist of four concerts at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and will last 20 minutes each. Presented by various ensembles from the renowned U.S. Air Force Band and the U.S. Navy Band, the concerts will feature vocal and instrumental selections from a variety of musical genres, including big band, jazz, popular, patriotic and classical.

The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. The museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking before 4 p.m. at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Note: Summer hours for both buildings are in effect from May 23 to Sept. 1, unless otherwise noted: The Udvar-Hazy Center’s summer hours are 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., and the National Mall building’s hours are 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.