Story by Nethra Vijayakumar, Aarav Nair South Windsor High School
WINDSOR LOCKS -- Since the Revolutionary War, Connecticut has been known as the Provision State because it provided more canons and food to the Continental Army than any other state.
Today, Connecticut is a world-leader in the aerospace industry. Sikorsky, Kaman, and United Technologies are three prime examples of businesses leading the way in aerospace development. Being able to learn about history first-hand is one reason visitors believe the New England Air Museum is so wonderful.
They’re able to look at over 65 planes in three hangers. Carl Stidsen, the research librarian says that there is an impressive collection of historical aircraft to see. “Our earliest artifact, which is the oldest aviation artifact in the United States, goes back to 1864. Our oldest airplane, which is the oldest airplane in Connecticut goes back to 1916. And our newest airplane goes up to about 1995.”
Some of the iconic aircraft housed at the air museum include the Sikorsky S-59 and the Kaman K-225. Also, some of the airplanes, such as the P-47D Thunderbolt, are open for visitors to sit in the cockpit and to imagine the experience of a soldier or a pilot from a former day. One of the main highlights of the museum is the Sikorsky VS-44A. It is a flying boat from the 1940s of which only three were made.
The one at New England Air Museum is the last remaining American-built, four-engine, flying boat. This and many other unique aviation artifacts are on display. The New England Air Museum features many airplanes in the collection for visitors of all ages to learn about the history of the aerospace industry.
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