Beacon Field Airport®


Elevation 249 feet, Fairfax County, Virginia          GPS 38 46'20.40"N :  77 4'54.07"W

©2017,  all rights reserved.   No part, portion, or whole of this website may be copied, reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the website owner.

Latest Update: March 26, 2017    48 degrees, cloudy
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Current Interest !!!

JOIN US!  Forgotten Fairfax Series: Beacon Field & Hybla Valley: April 1, 2017 (more info below)

1st Adopt a Fire Hydrant Duty !! blog below (3.14.2017)

Beacon Field -- A National Airport ?? story below (2.28.2017)
AMAZING Video German Fighters Intercept all quiet 777 in Europe !! (2.21.2017)
The former WWI GYRO Motor Factory in DC becomes LUXE Condos !! click here (2.18.2017)
Have you seen the ArcGIS Fairfax County NEW Historic Road Marker Map ?  It is AWESOME!!  click here

Rescued Crew of the Avon Queen (4th in the Series)
The Canadian four masted schooner AVON QUEEN (b.1918) was perhaps the last cargo vessel powered by wind sails still working the Atlantic provinces.  She was carrying salt cargo bound for St. John, New Brunswick, began taking on water March 16, 1937.    The USS FAIRFAX rescued the crew and Captain and sank the ship to prevent a shipping lane hazard.    Read more about the proud Captain and tough crew of  The Last Queen here!
READ more about the USS Fairfax below ↓

Beacon Field Airport®  -- Quick Facts

Beacon Field Airport® was located on Historic US Route 1 "The Hospitality Highway"  in the southeast section of Fairfax County, Virginia, 3.6 miles north of Mount Vernon.  Most know the area as Beacon Hill, one of the highest elevations in all of Fairfax County. Beacon Field and local area were named after the Airway Beacon No.55 which was installed on the airfield in the late 1920's as a navigational aid to US Mail pilots.    The Beacon name has proliferated over the years and now includes apartment buildings, businesses, streets, and a shopping center.

The airfield operated from the 1920's and Beacon Field Airport received a license in 1932.  Recreational flying, US Mail, military training, post World War II and Korean War GI Bill pilot training, Fixed Based Operator (FBO), commercial aviation activities, and the motel City View Mansion and Cottages hospitality business,  were conducted at Beacon Field until the airport closed in 1959.  Beacon Field is now the site of modern day Lenclair Park, Target (old Memco), Beacon retail shops (Giant, Lowes, et al), Beacon Hill Apartments, and City View III (fondly known as Muddy Manor). 

On August 19, 2009,  the Beacon Field Airport Fairfax County Historic Marker was dedicated in commemoration of aviation pioneer Orville Wright's birthday also known as NATIONAL AVIATION DAY.      
The Fairfax County Historic Marker is the highest recognition awarded by the Fairfax County History Commission (visit HMDB website for more markers/info, or the Fairfax website for county only markers).      In July 2007,  the Beacon Field Airport at City View site was approved and added to the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites  ! !  As a result the service road on the land tract was renamed  Beacon Field Airport Highway in October 2007.   This preservation effort was solely prepared and presented to the Fairfax County History Commission by  Harry P. Lehman whose family owned and operated the airport.  He is also the oldest grandson of  W.F.P. Reid Sr. an important early Fairfax County politician and developer. 

Click pic for google mapping

Flight Plan

This website strives to educate and offer a venue for the capture and preservation of the history of Beacon Field before it was lost forever as one of the nation's earliest private airports which embodied the genius of America.   
Friends of Beacon Field Airport conduct activities pro bono.  We are not affiliated with any civic associations, political parties, or special interest groups.  We collect, share, and connect information to facilitate a better appreciation for the influence of Beacon Field. 

 Beacon Field News and Events 


Forgotten Fairfax Series :
Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports

April 1st !

18 March 2017 Historic Beacon Field ---   

Friends of Beacon Field are delighted to be invited to talk about Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports as part of the community event Forgotten Fairfax Series to be held on Saturday, 1 April 2017 at the City of Fairfax library Virginia Room. 

 Click here to register online, it's free, but  space is limited.   See you there !!

First Duty -- Adopt a Fire Hydrant !!

14 March 2017 -- Historic Beacon Field

Dedicated Friends of Beacon Field performed the 1st Adopt a Hydrant duty this morning to clear the plowed snow and fallen precip from the assigned fire hydrant.  A mild winter storm came through overnight and left a mix of snow/ice in the area. click here for program info and here for our map 

Beacon Field -- A National Airport ?

28 February 2017 Historic Beacon Field ---   

On February 28, 1938,  the popular Washington Herald newspaper began a series of articles on the inability of Congress to reach a decision on the selection of a national airport site.    Most do not realize that the Beacon Field Airport site was a top contender with its high altitude and fog free conditions.

The Federal city needed a national airport.   Washington D.C.'s Hoover Field  and Washington Airport were too small and too close to each other  to accommodate the expanding aviation industry.   These two privately owned unpaved fields merged in an attempt to remain viable during the depression.    Pilots would not land there because of the treacherous conditions including a public connector road in the middle of the runway.   

Congress resisted responsibility for resolving the issue.  "Between 1926 and 1938, Congress produced  reams of debate transcripts  and 37 committee reports on the problem, but no action."  The Air Commerce Act of 1926 had restricted government financial involvement in the development of airports and Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt had been stymied to press legislative decision. 

Fake news is not a modern phenomena and each media had a different perspective.  The Washington Herald featured a series of articles on the search process for the national airport site.   Noted journalist Pat Frank (penname for Harry Hart Frank) achieved a "dispassionate presentation of the facts".     

The map at right illustrated the 9 final contenders out of the 49 proposed sites.    Beacon Field and Hybla Valley were among the top 4 candidates.   read more


"Search Pressed for Airport Site" The Washington Herald Feb 28, 1938

 Local history --> Mount Eagle, Virginia
(6,000 ft from the end of the Beacon runway)

October 21, 2016, Historic Beacon Field --  Who knew that Mount Eagle was the 1821 birthplace of Rear Admiral Donald McNeill Fairfax, a great grandson of Bryan Fairfax, lord of the estate.   Rear Admiral Fairfax served 44 years in the US Navy and was honored with having a Naval Wickes Class Destroyer (DD-93) named after him and built at the Mare Naval Yard, commissioned April 6, 1918.   The USS Fairfax also had a lengthy service record and played important role in the fortification of Atlantic crossing troop transports.   She rescued 86 USS Lucia sailors when their ship was torpedoed.   In March 1933, the USS Fairfax took part in the Presidential review by FDR and later represented the US at the opening of 1939 New York World's Fair.   In 1940, she was recommissioned as the HMS Richmond and given to the British under the lend lease program.    Late in WWII, she was given to the Russian forces and ultimately returned to the United Kingdom in 1949.   

In honor of the resolute USS Fairfax, Friends of Beacon Field Airport® have begun a series of cachet covers that will run front page through the end of the 2017.    SALUTE !  Cool

USS Fairfax, Canal Zone , December 25, 1936. SEE STORY ABOVE ^
7th Anniversary FLASHBACK to Marker Dedication !
August 19th 

L to R: Harry P. Lehman, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, and the Honorable US Congressman Gerry Connolly
Historic Beacon Field, VA August 19, 2009 
--Friends of Beacon Field Airport joined in with Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay,  Honorable US Congressman Gerry Connolly, and Harry P. Lehman to dedicate the Historic Marker at the site GPS coordinates 38º46'12.20"N :  77º4'58.33"W .      Master of Ceremony Supervisor McKay welcomed everyone to Groveton and introduced notable personalities in the crowd, Congressman Connolly spoke of the importance of airports in the County's history,  how much history is in Fairfax County,  and the importance of preserving this history, and Harry P. "Butch" Lehman who grew up at City View on the airport property provided a lively brief personal history and significance of the economic impact and pilot training that Beacon Field brought to the area.   Mr. Lehman pointed out that no other airport in the United States is named Beacon Field.


The 3rd Anniversary of the installation of the US 1 Wall of Aviation finds the landscaping beautifully filled in with crepe myrtles, roses, thick grass, and pristine bright clean concrete.    We greatly appreciate Costco's continued maintenance and upkeep of this very busy area.     Recently,  VDOT installed no commercial parking restrictions which affords better visitor parking.   

After weeks of rainouts ---

Stearmans Roar at FIRST AIRSHOW of the season !!

29 May 2016,  Historic BEALETON Va --  We recently found in the Beacon archives a 1976 Program for the Bealeton Flying Circus Air Show and decided to look them up.   Indeed, complete with very active website and weekly shows lined up, off to Bealeton we went and found sparkling Stearmans and grounds reminiscent of the Sunday airshows at Beacon and Hybla Valley.   With 25 rainy days,  today was the FIRST air show of the season !!


Family friendly with café, gift shop, picnic areas,  and 4 star restrooms on 200 acres,  the Bealeton Flying Circus also offers biplane rides before and after the show.     A unique black and silver 450 HP Stearman owned by the field  performs the wing walking portion.    The other planes are privately owned.  


A great way to spend the day and see what it was like back in the flying days of Beacon Field!!

posters available in gift shop
Aerial from 1976 Program
EYEWITNESS to BEACON Burnelli History 
Tells His Story !

Historic Beacon Field 17 May 2016 --  This week we were thrilled and delighted to receive this awesome memory about the rare Burnelli from someone who performed maintenance on the bird in 1959 just as it was being prepared to leave the closed Beacon Field.   This remarkable contact came from Captain John Winter, Retired Continental Airlines Assistant Chief Pilot whose civil aviation career began at Beacon Field:  

"In 1959, I worked for Paul Zimmer Aviation, which did aerial photography with a number of vintage Aircraft. I can't remember the supervisor I worked for, but he was an examiner for  the FAA qualified to issue the practical examination for the Aircraft and power plant mechanics licenses.

He assigned me to prepare the Ballard Burnelli in time to exit Beacon Field before its closing.   As we came closer to the planned departure, I recall Mr. Zimmer would make high speed runs, in order to get a feel for the Aircraft, because he was the one who was going to fly it to BWI.

I remember standing by the runway as the Ballard Burnelli departed Beacon Field, and I was told that was the last Aircraft to depart Beacon Field.

I went on to be hired by American Airlines at National Airport.   After many years I found myself as Captain for Frontier Airlines.  I received a trip assignment to BWI. To my surprise, after landing I came nose to nose with my old friend Ballard Burnelli, parked in the heart sank seeing that proud bird sitting in the grass at BWI awaiting the junk man!!   

I checked with ground control and he was surprised that I knew what the Aircraft was. He told me that the Airport Manager had a picture of it when it came to BWI. After shut down I walked down to the Airport Managers office, and as I was told, he did have the picture.  

I put at least two plus weeks on the Ballard Burnelli, and the one thing that remains is the fact that it used vegetable based hydraulic fluid.

Thanks to you all for taking care of one of my most fondest memories.   I am so happy to hear of the restoration of this aircraft."

Captain John Winter

Asst. Chief Pilot

Continental Airlines ( Ret )

Year after year, 
May brings renewal of serenity at City View

SECRETS Revealed in Historic Hybla Valley !!

1945 USGS Map

Historic Hybla Valley, 21 April 2016 ---  For nearly fifty years, there has been much speculation and rumor in the neighborhood about the US Navy’s post WWII operational activity adjacent to Hybla Valley Airport and south of Beacon Field in the area now called Huntley Meadows Park.     Some remember a large antenna array while others insist low frequency sound emanating from the valley disrupted television reception.   Thriving Hybla Valley Airport quietly ceased operations.     Then mysteriously, up the hill Beacon Field Airport abruptly closed. 


Recently Beacon Friends learned from an hour and an half on-site Fairfax County Park educational program of the highly successful top secret intelligence research conducted in Hybla Valley among other things directed at tracking the ominous Soviet satellite SPUTNIK.  


We ran across the small cleverly written notice for the program and were intrigued with the notion of cold war activity in the area.    Prior to the class, we searched Google and found only a few articles on intelligence activity describing the circularly disposed antenna array (CDAA) system constructed in Hybla Valley.    But how could this be?  Right under our very busy noses?

Test Road-- April 2016

The program was a wagon based tour led by a Park Historian who first introduced us to the Bureau of Public Roads race track and test road.  Publicly marked on most all maps since 1945 (above),  the track is now grown over but the terrain impressions are visible.    The test road is fully intact within the track and should be revisited by current road builders to learn from the substrate construction.  Current photo at left.

We also walked the grounds of an anti-aircraft gun battery built in 1951 constructed in response to the enemy capture of allied B-29 bombers Ramp Tramp (42-6256) and the Gen. H.H. Arnold Special (42-6365).     An asphalt park trail now dissects the site unknown to the thousands who exercise here weekly.   Concrete foot bridges and drainage culverts are visible.

1960's aerial Courtesy of Fairfax County Park Authority

Then we were guided through the muddy meadow wetlands to the remarkable site of the CDAA system.   Shown at right in an early 1960’s aerial are the two very large circular arrays built by the Naval Research Lab using German Wullenweber technology equipment captured in World War II.    Beacon Field Airport at the top right of the photo is in deconstruction, the short runway is intact, and the large rectangle is what will be Beacon Mall.   All that remains of Hybla Valley Airport east of the circular array is part of a taxiway. 


Today the concrete pad from the larger CDAA is visible,  the other array is under water in the wetlands only visible during a drought.   We were told the massive electrical cables remain buried. 


The historical significance of this site cannot be overstated, the Naval Research Office secret report on Electronic Intelligence Satellites (1958-1977) was declassified and publicly released 13 June 2012.    The CDAA at Hybla Valley was the first of its kind in the USA and was a quick response to the Soviet surprise launch of their Sputnik satellite.   The Hybla Valley effort successfully tracked Sputnik I’s orbit and parameters.  


What other SECRETS does remarkable Hybla Valley have ?


Beacon Friends Complete 25th Adopt A Highway

March 23, 2016---  The dedicated esprit de corps of Friends of Beacon Field Airport completed the 25th Adopt-A-Highway event today!!  Since October 2009, volunteers have removed litter four times a year or more along South Kings Highway from the Franklin Street to the South Benson drive intersections.    

More than 2500 lbs of car parts, liquor/beer bottles, fast food wrappers, artificial flowers, discarded construction debris, iron pipes, tobacco products, dental floss, skoal cans, plastic water bottles, carbonated beverage bottles, cans, garbage, shopping carts, illegal signage, newspapers, magazines, books, X*!@, $!**!!s, clothes, boots, CDs, tools and more.

The hard work has made a huge difference in the appearance and safety of our stretch of the highway.    Awesome !!!


Dear Santa, the Burnelli needs Tires !!

December 15, 2015---  The New England Air Museum continues to make grand progress on the CBY-3 restoration project.  The latest update involves the assembly of new engine cowls which were missing from the grand old bird as seen in the photo below.   

The NEAM volunteers stripped paint, made metal repairs, and mounted the freshly overhauled cowls on the Wright R-2600 engines.  

The Burnelli has a Santa's Wish List which includes two tires (size 9.00-6), pilot seats, propellers (12 foot, 7 inch diameter), and circa 1945 to 59 radios and navigation sets.
 Click here to visit the Windsor Locks hangar to see restoration photos and read Chief Newman's restoration diaries!!   

The famous Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster sitting in front of Zimmer's hangar October 1959, click photo to read more on the restoration process at the NEW ENGLAND AIR MUSEUM in Windsor Locks, CT. Crew Chief Harry Newman has meticulously documented the reconstruction process thru periodic postings with photos.
Wings FOR THE Dragon !!  
A 70 year old classic 

Wings for the Dragon by Alice Rogers Hager
November 10, 2015, Historic Beacon Field 

We recently ran across our copy of the 70 year old Wings for the Dragon 307 page chronicle by Beacon Field’s own Alice Rogers Hager and couldn’t resist a reread of the fascinating travels of this famous Beacon personality.     Alice was not only a columnist and advocate for airline travel and all things aviation, she brought her daughters to Beacon Field to learn to fly in the late 1930’s.  see Beacon Salute


As an original “embedded” reporter in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater in the WWII conflict,  she was in the Flying Tigers territory commanded by General Chennault.   She flew the dangerous “Hump”  in a B-29 tanker known as Hump Happy Pappy.    The bomber had been reconfigured with 600 gallon fuel tanks in both bomb bays and gun weaponry removed.   

Alice described her disappointment in being assigned the tanker rather than a combat aircraft but nevertheless readily acknowledged the pilots’ skill flying full gas loads on the “secret route” through the challenging terrain.  She wrote of the two tall engaging pilots Lt. Winters of Wichita and Lt Changnon of Idaho who were delighted to have passengers and eager to converse about their frequent missions on the hump.   She and her military escort were assigned the rear compartment for takeoff.  After flaps and gear were up,  the intercom called them forward to the cockpit which “meant a crawl on hands and knees through the 60-foot heavily padded tunnel, a beautiful place in which to develop a case of claustrophobia”.  

She not only wrote of  CBI aviation adventures but also of her observations regarding the runway maintenance force comprised of 6,000 Chinese men, women, and children, who worked daily on the airports mostly by hand and clad in patched clothing.     With great clarity, she relayed the tense scenes at the end of the daily missions when soldiers with binoculars would scan the skies for the swarm of homecoming planes mostly B-24 Liberators and B-25 Mitchells roaring back to the airfields manned by “dreadfully” young flight crews.


Many events retold with lots of detail, clear photographs and a little romanticism, make Wings for the Dragon very much a modern read of world aviation history!


Copies still available on eBay and other antiquarian book sites.

Leesburg Airport Celebrate 50 Years !!

September 24, 2015 — In the photo at left, Radio Announcer Arthur Godfrey surveys the damage to the hangars and his plane at Beacon Field Airport on April 25, 1934, where a sudden storm flattened the structures. In the far left, photographers and curious by standers climbed the beacon tower for a better view. {courtesy ACME photos}.

Mr. Godfrey flew many times at Beacon Field and after WWII later went on to buy Leesburg airport from Arthur C. Hyde {owner of Hyde Field, Congressional Airports}.    Famous Eddie Rickenbacker, President of Eastern Airlines, gave Arthur Godfrey a DC-3 which he used to commute to his radio studio in New Jersey.   The DC-3's fabulous Twin Wasp radial engines rattled many windows !!

This upcoming weekend, Leesburg hosts its annual airshow on September 26 and will be celebrating the 50 years of continuous operation stemming from Arthur Godfrey's acquisition of the airfield.   For more on Leesburg Airport visit this recent article in Leesburg Today--> Click Here

Aviation in Roanoke !!

Aviation in Roanoke

April 22, 2015, Historic Beacon Field Aviation in Roanoke

An excellent capture of Roanoke’s important contributions to aviation history !!   Quality large photos and comprehensive captions guide the reader thru 115 years of aviation history from the early 1900’s hot air balloon rides and Curtiss pusher biplane demonstrations at the Great Roanoke Fairs to the present day Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA).       

The authors, Marshall Harris (the son of longtime Woodrum Field Manager) and Nelson Harris (author and former Mayor), have masterfully presented Roanoke aviation history never before seen by the public. 

127 pages are packed with over a hundred aerials, maps, plats, and photographs of important events, people, and places that compel the reader not to put the book down.    Famous aviator personalities including Eddie Rickenbacker, Betty Skeleton, Squeek Burnett, and Louise Thaden, all had influence in ROA.  

With airfield names like Trout, Cook, Horton, and Shrine, the authors reveal the modern day sites of these long forgotten landing fields important to early aviation history.   This editor learned alma mater, Patrick Henry High School, was built on the site of Shrine Airfield that was originally planned for a large Masonic complex!   

A delightful book full of surprises and a masterpiece of history preservation!

This soft cover available online major retailers.  For more Woodrum Field history click here.


This vintage ROA pocket guide was found inside our previously read book
Woodrum Airfield Dedication Cachet, 1941 {courtesy Lehman collection}
Cachet commemorating US ARMY aviators in ROA in 1919 {courtesy Lehman collection}
Gyrocopter --> Deja Vu 1934  !! 

April 15, 2015--  When the gyrocopter landed on the Capitol Mall today and the pilot arrested, we couldn't help but remember the news photos of 1934.   East coast Pitcairn debuted their "wingless" helicopter by demonstrating the capabilites along the mall and flying by the national monuments.   

DEJA VU ? This news photo of November 10, 1934, shows a completely enclosed cockpit of the then "new" PITCAIRN WINGLESS Gyro Helicopter, piloted by Jim Ray, flying by the Washington Monument encased in scaffolding. Note the White House below right. CLICK PIC for youtube archive video

 Happy Fifth Anniversary !!

August 19, 2014 -- Historic Beacon Field  

It is amazing that five years ago today with looming storm clouds we dedicated the Beacon Field Airport Historic Marker on Orville Wright's birthday !   

The marker has stood tall and amassed plenty of stories to tell with thousands of cars a day driving by, a massive construction project across the street,  the cosmic experience of the Space Shuttle flyover, the prodding and poking of Geo-Cachers, the occasional adjustment from county maintenance to restore true plumb, lots of attention from the mall gardeners,  and the occasional glimpse of the neighborhood foxes.

If you haven't been back, this recent photo shows what must be the best landscaped  historic marker in Fairfax County !

August 19, 2014
 Little League Sponsor Appreciation

August 2nd, 2014 --   The Alexandria Potomac Little League presented 2 plaques to the Friends of Beacon Field for the sponsorship of the Beacon Pirates and Beacon Nationals.   The spring 2014 season was a wet one with lots of rescheduled games but all in all a successful program!!

JULY 2014

 A Lincoln Revival !!


July 4th, 2014, Historic Beacon Field --  Lincoln Beachey:  The Man Who Owned the Sky

Lincoln Beachey was the first guy to fly upside down, successfully repeat and perfect the loop (and lived to tell it), and the first to demonstrate “hands off” the controls.


The author Frank Marrero brillantly revives the history of this less well known but no less important early American flier LINCOLN BEACHEY who wowed crowds with his death defying dead stick aerial maneuvers that left many in the audience fainting from the sight.   Most people in the audience had never seen an airplane much less seeing a pilot walk away from the spinning craft that literally fell from the sky.    Other fliers attempting the same dare devil stunts met their untimely fate.  

The reader lives vicariously through the meticulous description of the thrills and spills of acrobatic flying and an abundance of photos. With an easy to read style,  the author presents the science and planning behind the success of the “Little Looper” aircraft that was a Glenn Curtiss design modified with a French engine to solve the gyroscopic effect.    A great read !

This soft cover book may be purchased direct from Mr. Marrero who resides in Fairfax, California ! click here   For even more Beachey info he has a webpage Forgotten Father of Acrobatics

JUNE 2014

Then and Now Historic US Route 1 
Year Long Photo Series

June 25, 2014  Beacon Field --  Our weekly photo series “Then and Now Historic US Route 1”  began in June 2013 with the Beacon Amoco construction photo and ended 52 weeks later with the survivor Travelers Motel.    We shared many of our collection of Route 1  memorabilia highlighting notable and some not so notable sites from the Potomac River to the Occoquan Creek.   

Many of the establishments have been bulldozed and are home to new business such as Miller’s Motor Court, Mt. Vee Hotel, Thieves Market, and the Mt Vernon Drive In Theatre.   A few others are still there after all these years including the World Famous Kramer’s Equipment and the Virginia Lodge.

Our series also featured events that took place along US 1 such as the Beacon Field Horse Shows and Equestrian Championships and the miracle of Eastern Airlines Flight 564.

We are excited to announce that we recently began working on the continuation of this series in book format to include more of our ever growing collection of US 1 history in the 20th century. 

This is a new challenge for us and we will share progress updates and welcome all ideas!



MAY 2014

Five years of Starbucks

Historic Beacon Field, 3 May 2014 --  After 5 years of continuous rotating display at Starbucks, we have discontinued the effort to focus on our other venues. A great deal of interest was generated by the exhibit and we are pleased to have met many who shared their memories of Beacon Field with us!

   In March 2009,  the first group of photographs of Historic Beacon Field and City View Mansion were displayed at the Starbucks located in Beacon Center which presently occupies the original Beacon Field Airport site.  Through Starbucks' generosity, prime wall space had been given to showcase our local airport history depicting the features, personalities, airplanes, and concurrent events relating to US Route 1 aviation.

Over the past five years more than 100 photographs were put on view for the customers of Beacon Starbucks.  If these images could talk, they would have very interesting stories to tell as many came from old newspaper clippings and archives, private collections, auctions, attics, and even E-bay!  The photographs acquired were in various formats and conditions and in order to produce a professional venue each required resizing, remastering, and editing.


December 2013

GREAT Read NOT Just for Pilots !!

December 15, 2013, Historic Beacon Field -  The Aviators:  Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight.

This is a great book! Riveting stories of the trials of early aviation through heroic tales of 3 important US aviators Rickenbacker, Doolittle and Lindbergh. The author presents successes and failures and many previously unknown details of the lives of these pioneers. From nearly being trampled by adoring fans to the shark invested waters of the Pacific, the easy writing style of the author makes for comparative personification of these aviators in memorable content. We learned a lot and think others will too!

October 2013

The RARE Grand Old Bird Gets New TAIL FEATHERS  !!

NEAM October 9 , 2013 -- Burnelli CBY-3 (N17N) Restoration in progress

New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks, CT  -- October 9, 2013

In November 2012, we reported that the Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster (N17N) had achieved eternal life at the New England Air Museum (NEAM) with restoration plans underway.    In less than a year, much progress has been made on the famous one of a kind bird that once was rebuilt (in 1959) on Beacon Field by Mr. Paul Zimmer and Mr. Junie Marshall.   

Harry Newman, CBY-3 Project Manager at the New England Air Museum of Windsor Locks, CT,  gave us an update this week along with these great photos.    He reports that the plane has been moved from the outside display area over to the restoration facilities with plans to remove the wings soon to be restored over the winter months.      The 35 foot long horizontal stabilizer in the photo above needed extensive repair and has been restored and recently primed.  Mr. Newman pointed out that this stabilizer is as long as most small aircraft wingspans.

Also, the twin tail booms are in restoration and NEAM plans to reassemble the entire section this winter.   This is amazing !      

Visit their museum online  or in person at the Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

Restoration underway at the NEAM {photos courtesy of NEAM}
October 2013, Restoration Underway at the NEAM {photos courtesy NEAM}
August 2013

NEW BOOK! -- Friend and local resident William J. Roberts NEW Book!

Historic Beacon Field 13 August 2013  --   Friend and local resident William J. Roberts has written a great new softcover called "River to Rails: A Guidebook to Historical Markers in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia" .   

Mr. Roberts has compiled over 225 markers and signs in his generously illustrated masterpiece.    This book is long overdue and a welcome handbook for this weary editor weaving around the tight turns and crowded streets of old town in search of history!!  

A book signing was held at the Lyceum (corner of Prince and S. Washington) Wednesday,  August 14, from 4 to 8pm.   Click here to read more on his blog page. 

Historic Airports Immortalized in Stainless Steel !!

US Route 1 Wall of Aviation

August 2, 2013 -- Dedication of the US Route 1 Wall of Aviation. Plan a visit today! FREE on-street parking (Ladson Lane) adjacent to wall. (click for google mapping)
August 2, 2013 -- Dedication of the US Route 1 Wall of Aviation L->R: Harry P. Lehman, Robert Beach, Anna Marie Hicks {photo courtesy Marcus Wadsworth}

Historic Hybla Valley, 2 August 2013 --  Friends of Beacon Field Airport were thrilled to be part of the first ever US Route 1 Wall of Aviation which was unveiled today at the corner of Route 1 and Ladson Lane on COSTCO frontage.    Friends who had been involved in the design and content had not seen the finished panels and anxiously awaited the unveiling.

Michael Armstead of Whiting-Turner works rapidly in prep for the reveal

Road construction was not yet complete and last minute tidying up of the expansive corner by the Whiting-Turner construction team gave perfect forum for the dedication event attended by Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay,  Architect Brian Kendell of MulvannyG2, and Harry Lehman of Friends of Beacon Field.  

Supervisor McKay noted that this project was very important to the revitalization of the Route 1 Richmond Highway corridor and a focal point for pedestrians.

Harry P. Lehman speaks of site history before the panel unveiling
Harry Lehman spoke of Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports and noted that the location of the new Costco is on the site of metro Washington’s first drive-in, the  Mt. Vernon Automobile Open Air Theatre.   

The ceremony concluded with the suspenseful reveal as Brian Kendell orchestrated the unveil panel by panel with plenty of opportunity for photos !   The exquisite and sophisticated stainless steel panels are dramatically set in a wall shaped like a delta wing.   The panels feature notable local aviators, prominent airport features, and descriptive text.    This highly visible and unobstructed location is perfectly situated at the gateway to Route 1 aviation history .   
So the next time you are on the Highway of Cool, stop and take in a little aviation history !!     Costco opened August 8th

To read more about the individuals in the panels HJ Lehman click here,  to learn more about E.W. Robertson and Hybla Valley click here.
FoBFA have posted  the full US Route 1 Wall of Aviation text on the national marker database.  Click here to go direct to at!

Mr. Brian Kendell -- MulvannyG2 Architects
Supervisor McKay and daughter unveil the larger than life HJ Lehman