We have several aviation artifacts in the museum that hold important meaning in aviation history. One of these is a full size replica of a Blériot XI that was meticulously built from scratch by a group of our volunteers.

Louis Blériot started producing this airplane to train other pilots to fly in 1908. Many U.S. pilots traveled to France for early training, until these airplanes were finally brought to America. The Moisant Flying School was one of the first to start operating on Long Island from what is still called “Hempstead Plains,” an area of flat open land that is very close to the spot where Charles Lindbergh started his solo flight to Paris about 15 years later.

Blériot XI

In addition to being the first plane to cross the open water of the English Channel, a Blériot XI piloted by Earl Ovington made the first U.S. Postal Service airmail flight in September, 1911. That flight was from Mineola to Garden City – a grueling 3 mile flight, and marked the beginning of air mail service in our country!

Visitors are amazed to learn that the Blériot has a rotary engine. That means the crankshaft is bolted to the firewall of the airplane and the entire engine turns with the prop. That’s the exact opposite of the way engines are built today!

Other featured items of historical significance include an Aeronca L-3 that is restored to commemorate the use of these airplanes in North Africa during WWII.

Aeronca L-3

The tops of these airplanes were painted in desert camouflage to make them more difficult to see when on the ground, while the bottom of the fuselage and wings were painted a light blue to make it more difficult to see when looking up at the airplane in flight. Our plane also bares the authentic insignia of the yellow band around the star on the sides of the fuselage, as well as the “Moroccan Grasshopper” on its cowling.

Moroccan Grasshopper

We are presently restoring one of the first Link Trainers as well as displaying some very old and very rare wooden propellers. Schedule a visit to see these and more starting in May, 2021!