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Friday, July 17, 2009

Floyd Bennett Field

One of the most amazing and interesting places I have ever visited in the five boroughs of New York City is Floyd Bennett Field. The enormous space with huge undeveloped tracts of land is startling for this city. Nearly all of the airfield is drivable - this provides an easy way to explore for a first time visitor. See the gallery of photos here.
Knowing of my visiting friend's interest in aviation and model planes, I recently investigated the details about Floyd Bennett Field. - a place I had been looking to explore for some time. In a replay of morphic reosonance (see here), the New York Times just happened to be running a feature article that very day - see it here.
My friend was, however, not able to join me, so I made the visit without him. After my first visit, I know I will be making other visits in the future. 
Completed in 1930, primarily on landfill, Floyd Bennett Field was New York City's first municipal airport, later used as a military training and testing facility until the airfield was decommissioned in the early 1970s. Now it is a virtual playground. Weeds sprout from crevices on unused runways.  From the New York Times article: 

The Park Service has preserved the historic look and feel of the airfield while seeding an area larger than Central Park with things to do and see, from camping and gardening to bicycle races, kayaking, fishing, golf and indoor sports. There’s even an archery range and a cricket pitch.

Add to that radio control jet aircraft flying and land sailing - I will feature these in later posts. 
The airfield also boasts a number of antique hangars. Hangar B houses a number of retired military planes - some can be boarded. (The photos in today's collage were all taken in or immediately outside Hangar B.)
The hangar is also home to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project, a volunteer organization of aircraft enthusiasts, engineers and pilots, who rebuild vintage aircraft and assemble full-size replicas. Fortunately I was able to tour Hangar B and the workshop - it is only opened Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

6 comments:

Michelle Johnson said...

Some really nice photos today. I'm sure your friend will be wanting to go back with you on your second tour. Hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

Brian, I guess you had an amazing visit at the Airfield. Thank you for sharing that to everybody.
The photos are so good and I am curious who is the man in this collage? :)

Beth in NYC said...

Floyd Bennet is a great place to visit. There's good birding there in the spring and fall as well.

Brian Dubé said...

Michele - Thanks. And, yes, my friend will be looking forward to it.

Anon - I think I know that guy :)

Beth - I didn't get to explore the flora and fauna in the area yet. Too busy with planes and sails.

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whiskers said...

brian i was stationed at floyd bennett field while in the usmc. the time frame was from 1963-1966.
the pictures certainly brought back many good memories.
thanks
harry from newport nc