Over 90 years ago, the current home of the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport was established as Fairchild Flying Field and its aircraft manufacturing added the Farmingdale Airfield to a long legacy of people, places, and companies that would make New York’s Long Island the cradle of American Aviation. In 1932 Aircraft Engineer, and pilot, Leroy Grumman would establish Grumman Aircraft’s first major facility at what was now the former Fairchild Field and design some of the aircraft and systems that would catapult his company to success as WWII fast approached. At the same time noted aviator, and aircraft designer Alexander P. de Seversky, who would be a great proponent of American air power during WWII, would cement his presence in the area with the establishment of Seversky Aircraft Corp. at the Farmingdale Airfield in 1936. Grumman would depart in 1937 to establish its now famed Bethpage Airfield and Aircraft plant while Seversky would eventually be removed from his own company, that would become the legendary Republic Aviation and marked the birth of one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the “Arsenal of Democracy” as the United States entered World War II. The Airfield would be known as Republic Field and become the massive home to the Republic Aviation plant, where over 9,000 P-47 Thunderbolts would be produced during World War Two. Pioneering Aircraft design, and production would continue through the Cold War with the legendary Korean War era Jet, the F-84 Thunderjet, and later versions the Thunderstreak and Thunderflash. The US Air Force work horse of the Vietnam War the F-105 Thunderchief continued Republic’s fighter legacy that would ultimately culminate in the A-10A Thunderbolt II design and production in the late 70’s and early 1980’s, an aircraft that has distinguished itself in combat and is still flown by the United States Air Force today.
Today, no American aviation museum with such a unique squadron of operational “Warbird” aircraft has a more appropriate setting for its home. On display in and around the same hangars and flying off the very runways that dispatched Thunderbolts and the US Air Force’s premier jet fighter bombers of their era into service. This legendary setting allows the public to be immersed in the history of aviation and watch these planes roar to life and take to the skies over Long Island. Founded in 2000 through the graciousness and hard work of our founder Mr. Jeff Clyman, his family, and the incredible dedication and help of then NY State Governor George Pataki to bring aviation history to life to honor our veterans, the legacy of local aviation pioneers, the men and women who built and flew the aircraft, and the legacy of New York’s part in the Arsenal of Democracy through the 20th Century and today.
The monumental effort to keep our aviation, and military history alive is also made possible through state grants, corporate underwriting, and the personal philanthropy and gifts from people like you. In addition, the museum would not be possible without the partnership and help of Republic Airport’s management and fixed based operators (FBOs). Lastly, and most importantly with a limited staff we rely upon the incredible hard work of our volunteers and without them we wouldn’t be able to have the ability to share this great museum with all of you! The Volunteers are the backbone of our museum, and we are so thankful for the support from our Long Island, and greater New York Community!
The mission of the American Airpower Museum is the preservation of aviation, and military history to educate the public, and the next generation of Americans about the courage, valor, sacrifice, and heroism of our nation’s veterans, aviation pioneers, and aviation industry workers of the arsenal of democracy. We accomplish this mission by preserving, displaying, and flying, operational and static examples of our nations legendary Airpower and ground vehicles in our collection as well as through our related displays, exhibits and event programs. We strive to create an experience at our museum that will educate, and inspire future generations in the subjects of aviation, engineering, math, science, and history.