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Hagerstown Aviation History to be auctioned

Hagerstown Aviation History to be auctioned

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum in Hagerstown is racing against the clock to save the last available Fairchild C-82 "Flying Boxcar." The museum is actively seeking donations to bid on and purchase the rare Hagerstown-built aircraft to ensure it avoids the scrap yard. The auction date is August 23, 2006 in Grey Bull, WY.
With a 106 -foot wingspan, 75 -foot length and 26 -foot height, the 1945 C-82 Packet is to be the centerpiece in the museum's planned exhibit hall. According to museum organizers, a significant amount of money has already been raised. "The auction goal of $200,000 is in sight, and we know that if enough money is raised, we can save an important piece of aviation history," according to Hagerstown Aviation Museum President Kurtis Meyers.
Of the 223 C-82 Packet cargo and troop transport planes manufactured during the late 1940's, the to-be-auctioned Wyoming plane is the last remaining in flyable condition. Once purchased, it would be flown to Hagerstown for display. The C-82 was the first of a radical new design, and gave birth to the more powerful C-119, also made in Hagerstown. When first tested, the C-82 Packet aircraft earned the nickname "Flying Boxcar," which was also later used as the nickname for the newer C-119. The C-82 is well-known for being featured in the 1966 film with Jimmy Stewart called "Flight of the Phoenix."
The museum's collection currently includes a restored 1928 Kreider-Reisner C-2 Challenger biplane donated by Richard "Dick" Henson and Charles Shue. Henson is credited with being the father of community air service, and a world-famous test pilot. The museum has also acquired a 1939 Fairchild F-24/UC61C once assigned to Howard Hughes, a restored Fairchild SM-72 "Goose" strategic missile and most recently the very first production model Gulfstream II Business Jet. "We will also be attempting to acquir e a Fairchild C-119 and F-27. These aircraft are needed for the museum collection," said Meyers.
"Hagerstown, Home of the Flying Boxcar" was a well-known phrase heard for over three decades from the 1940s through the 1960s. At peak employment of over 10,000 employees in the early 1950s, Fairchild Aircraft manufactured over 1,300 C-82 and C-119 Flying Boxcar's for the USAF. The twin-engine, twin tail boom design and the sound of its radial engines filled the skies above Western Maryland.
According to Aviation Museum Treasurer John Seburn. "The A-10 was made here, along with the C-119, and many other important advances in aviation. Hagerstown was the first place where planes were made in Maryland."
Museum organizers say that the C-82 purchase is a significant undertaking. John Seburn said, "The story of Hagerstown's aviation heritage is not complete without the historic aircraft. These will become permanent monuments to the thousands of men and women who designed, built, flew and maintained them. We're asking for donations, because this is the last chance for this famous military cargo plane. We're asking people to become a part of bringing this aircraft home to Hagerstown to be preserved for future generations."
The contact information for the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, Inc. is 717-377-3030. Donations are being accepted until Friday, Aug. 18. For more information or to make a donation, contact John Seburn, Treasurer, at 717-597-9695.
For more Information and Photos visit the museum's Website www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org

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