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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE 11th Annual Pier House 5K to Complete the Jersey Shore Grand Prix on Labor Day
Friday, 22 August 2014
PHOTO: Start of 2013 Pier House race.  LONG BRANCH, NJ - The revitalized Long Branch beachfront will be the site of the 11th Annual Pier House... Read More...
IMAGE Middletown Pays Silent Tribute to September 11 Victims
Friday, 22 August 2014
PHOTO: Middletown World Trade Center Memorial Gardens.  (photo by Lee Beaumont) MIDDLETOWN – A silent tribute will be paid to... Read More...
Middletown Schedules Separate Rabies Clinics for Cats and Dogs
Friday, 22 August 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Health Department has set dates for the free rabies clinics for cats and dogs. Free Rabies Clinic for Cats... Read More...
Monmouth University Blue Hawk Record Students Perform and Tour in Italy
Friday, 22 August 2014
West Long Branch, N.J. - Monmouth University music industry students from its student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, performed and toured... Read More...
IMAGE Organizations Unite to Rebuild Long Branch Home
Friday, 22 August 2014
Pictured from left to right:  American Red Cross President for Humanitarian Services Cliff Holtz, American Red Cross Divisional Vice President... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Racial Unrest, Then and Now
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 22 August 2014
In the fall of 1957, while walking my newspaper-route, I read about the drama playing out at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Following... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 22, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 22 August 2014
Teen kicked out of NJ movie theater for bringing in candy.Oh, he's a Type 1 diabetic AND the owner is a pediatrician: http://6abc.cm/1t8WyBS After 6... Read More...
IMAGE Atlantic Highlands Waterfront - a Place for All to Enjoy
by Jack Archibald
Friday, 22 August 2014
Even though summer is winding down, good things continue to happen in the Atlantic Highlands harbor that will benefit our community for years to... Read More...
IMAGE No Words to Describe Loss of Amanda
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 21 August 2014
It's not always easy to come up with a weekly topic for this column. Usually, I mentally bat around a few ideas based upon current events or personal... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 16, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 16 August 2014
Man calls 911 because a drug dealer is at the corner.  Wait, no, that's a street sign: http://bit.ly/1kBfhVf Why did the chicken cross the road?... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Sat Aug 23 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Jersey Shore Rose Society Meets
Thu Aug 28 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Tue Sep 02 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop
Thu Sep 04 @ 4:00PM -
Special Preschool Storytime - AH Library
Mon Sep 08 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
PFLAG Meets

Gateway National Recreation Area’s Floyd Bennett Field Hosts Historic Military Aircraft Marking 100 Years of Naval Aviation

Gateway National Recreation Area’s Floyd Bennett Field received a replica of the 1911 Ely-Curtiss Pusher Friday, May 20 after the historic aircraft landed to commemorate the Centennial of Naval Aviation. . Veteran pilot Bob Coolbaugh, who flew the plane to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, built the replica himself over a three year period to celebrate this year’s observance. The historic replica aircraft will be on display at the former airfield through Friday, May 27 during New York City Fleet Week.

nps_curtiss_pusher
Photo of Curtiss Pusher landing at Floyd Bennett Field after a brief spin around the park. Photo by Butch Moran; used by permission.

“Floyd Bennett Field is hallowed ground,” said Coolbaugh, a former U.S.

Navy carrier pilot. New York City’s first municipal airport opened on May 23, 1931—80 years ago today. “Think of the great pilots who flew here as part of some record-setting flight—Wiley Post, Amelia Earhardt, ‘Wrong Way’

Corrigan. They were living in the moment. This lets me revisit the edge.”

Hangar B, the home to Floyd Bennett Field’s collection of historic aircraft, is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to the general public.

Volunteers from the Historic Airplane Restoration Project (HARP) will be on hand to explain a variety of aircraft to the public, including those used when Floyd Bennett Field served as a Naval Air Station within the Naval Air Reserve System. For information on specific events, call the Floyd Bennett Field Visitor Center at 718-338-3799.

Weather permitting, Coolbaugh hopes to take off from Floyd Bennett Field, fly over Governors Island National Monument, Statue of Liberty National Monument, and the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum—all sites within New York Harbor. During his years as a Navy carrier pilot, Coolbaugh served on the Intrepid’s last cruise. A high resolution camera will take photographs every 30 seconds over the right shoulder of the pilot.

The aircraft is a replica of the model used in 1911 by aviation pioneer Eugene B. Ely to land on the deck of the armored cruiser U.S.S.

Pennsylvania. Later that day he successfully flew off the cruiser. (He had flown from the U.S.S. Birmingham the previous fall.) Within a year, the United States Navy purchased its first aircraft and began the development of a naval aviation program.

Coolbaugh, along with his “Curtiss crew” of six friends and pilots, built the replica Ely-Curtiss Pusher specifically to celebrate the centennial. No planes from naval aviation’s first decade existed in flying condition.

Coolbaugh, who flew for People’s Express and Continental Airlines after his enlistment in the Navy, has restored old planes for 25 years because he said he never could afford a new one. A bamboo frame supports fabric-covered wings and a tricycle undercarriage. The entire craft weighs about 1,000 pounds and flies best at about 55 miles per hour and has only one seat.

The replica is different from the original in one major respect. Modern digital test equipment records flight data, including a photo and video camera to record the flight. “Nobody alive has flown a Curtiss Pusher,”

said Coolbaugh. “There’s no one to ask for advice, no real concept about what’s going on.” Scientists at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland will analyze how the plane handles. A simulation will be developed, allowing people a chance to simulate flying the Ely-Curtiss Pusher. Meanwhile, Coolbaugh said, “You have to fly it with a lot of patience.”

The Ely-Curtiss Pusher will appear at a total of 19 shows to promote the centennial and this is the sixth location on tour. Coolbaugh hopes to log 300 flight hours in the craft, which will generally take place in one-hour increments throughout the celebration. The Ely-Curtiss Pusher will be one of the attractions at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., an annual air event attracting more than a half million aviation enthusiasts from around the world.

Coolbaugh respects aviation pioneers such as Ely for the risks they took.

“It’s a young man’s game,” said Coolbaugh. “Ely never had a ship to practice [on], yet this 26-year-old kid with 120 hours of flying experience landed on the deck of a ship. He was the best pilot in the world for about

14 months and then he was dead.” Coolbaugh believes that in today’s risk-averse environment, naval aviation could never have occurred because “it took a different mind set than what most people possess today.”

On Friday, May 27, Coolbaugh will depart Floyd Bennett Field for Philadelphia, which celebrates its own Navy Week through Sunday.

About Gateway National Recreation Area

Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area has more than 26,000 acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms; picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of recreational opportunities year round. With more than nine million visitors a year, it is the third most visited national park in the country. For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's Web site at http://www.nps.gov/gate/index.htm