Beacon Field Airport®


Elevation 249 feet, Fairfax County, Virginia          GPS 38 46'20.40"N :  77 4'54.07"W
©Copyright 2013 Friends of Beacon Field Airport at City View and, no part of this website including sound or text content may be copied, reproduced or used for any other purpose without express written permission of the website owner.   Beacon Field Airport® is a registered trademark of the website owner.

2012 - 2013 Beacon Activity !!
US Route 1 Wall of Aviation ,
Space Shuttle Flyover, Hybla Valley Historic Marker,  
 PBS Cameos, and more  !!

July 2013

In Memoriam -- 25 July 2013
Captain Albert Steidel

Mr. Al Steidel -- Click for SALUTE!

Mr. Albert "Al" Steidel and four of his brothers, Gordon, Billy, Mansfield, and David, held part-time jobs at Beacon Field.   

Al Steidel joined Allegheny Airlines in 1956 as a commercial airline pilot.  For 30 years, he flew DC-3s to jets and was a Captain for 24 of the 30 years.  Click here to read more about the life of this popular Beacon Flier ....

June 2013

Still THERE After All These Years 
Kramer Equipment Company 

The Washington Daily News, Sept 28, 1961
June 16, 2013, Historic US Route 1 -- 
In the late 1940's thru the 1950's,  Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports relied upon a local military surplus store, Kramer Equipment Company, for the immediate supply of aircraft and airport related maintenance items.  The father and son team, Mr. I.J. Kramer and son, Mr. Neal Kramer, bought bulk surplus construction and material supplies that provided both airports with a rapid source of rope for airplane tie downs, metal mats for flood prone muddy areas, fuel drums and cans, machinist tools, and more.    

Established in 1947, the store was known for having the unusual and out of the ordinary merchandise.  Mr. Kramer once bought 200 WWII Norden bombsights from the US Government and sold them for $10 a piece.   In The Washington Daily News article at left,  Mr. Kramer says that "A couple of generals, admirals, and a few women--but mostly men--are buying them....and I've only got a few left".

The Norden Bombsights had been one of the US Navy's closely guarded technology breakthroughs in WWII.  The existence of this device was more secret than secret. Famous aviation pioneer and WWII leader, Hap Arnold, believed it could "guide a bomb into a pickle barrel from 30,000 feet."  The bombsight was a mechanical analog computer that calculated trajectory and was assembled from motors, gyros, mirrors, levels, gears and a telescope.  By all later accounts, not a particularly efficient device, nevertheless a hot retail item at Kramer's! 

Courtesy Kramer Family Album
Courtesy Kramer Family Album

In 1981, the World Famous Kramer Equipment Company moved to its current location in Hybla Valley (7835 Richmond Hwy) and now focuses on construction supplies and superior expert tree climbing equipment including quality specialty saws, precision ropes, carabiners and other arborist tools .    

The new store is a "time warp" for those who remember the old store on Huntington Avenue and brings back great memories.     Mr. Neal Kramer has carried on the sixty-six year tradition and owns one of the few businesses that can remember the glory days of the airports !

Mr. Neal Kramer -- 2013, in front of the business with his own "historic marker".
May 2013

Beacon Friend, Alamo Scout, and Long Time Historian
In Memoriam  May 9, 2013  --   Mr. Mayo Sturdevant Stuntz 

May 30, 2013  ---  At 97 years old, long time Beacon Friend Mayo Stuntz had forgotten more than most ever knew about Fairfax and Vienna history.   His wife, Connie, remembers visiting City View many times to see her Uncle Pierce (W.F.P. Reid).  Perhaps unknown to many,  Mayo was an Alamo Scout on a Pacific island  during WWII assigned to enlist the local native population to conduct recon and intel activity on the Japanese on the other side of the island.  
Equally elusive was his long career with the CIA.  In retirement in his hometown of Vienna,  he and Connie wrote many books documenting the history of Tysons Corner, Vienna, and Fairfax County.  Mrs. Stuntz is currently working on This Was Falls Church due out soon!
Read more about his interesting life....

Mayo Stuntz at the Beacon Field Airport Marker commemoration October 2009 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of airport closing.  At left Anna Marie Hicks, at right Mrs. Connie Barton Pendleton Stuntz.
Mayo Stuntz at the Beacon Field Airport Marker commemoration October 2009 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of airport closing. At left Anna Marie Hicks, at right Mrs. Connie Barton Pendleton Stuntz.
The Stuntz Family placed this sign at the site where Mayo was born (now a Jiffy Lube on Main St Vienna)
Litter Patrol UNCOVERS Hazardous Situation !!!

May 23 2013 Adopt A Highway Patrol -- Mr. Joe Emrico and Harry P. discussing vintage SPAD brass model !
May 22, 2013--   Friends of Beacon Field Airport completed their Third Annual Pre-Memorial Day cleanup from Benson Drive to Franklin Street on South Kings Highway (State Route 633).    The dedicated five some found one manhole cover removed near the intersection of Lenclair/South Kings and reported the hazard to VDOT.   Within an hour, VDOT sent personnel to restore the storm drain to a safe condition!   One area near 6521 State Route 633 had grass so tall that the volunteers were unable to engage.   Another area near the service road next to Beacon Hill Apartments was flooded due to motorists using the public sidewalk as a shortcut to South Kings.   All in all a good litter patrol !

Friends of Beacon Field Visit Local DAR  !

May 6, 2013 --  Friends of Beacon Field Airport gave an informal aviation history presentation to the Dr. Elisha Dick Chapter of the DAR on Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports.  The DAR Chapter's namesake Dr. Elisha Dick was the Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia,  and prominent citizen in the early 1800's  at the same time that Harry P. Lehman's great-great grandfather,Benjamin Barton, was the jeweler and clockmaker at 324 King Street between Fairfax and Royal Streets (present day site of City Hall).  Benjamin Barton was the first owner of the City View land tract upon which Beacon Field Airport was built.  
A local historian Mary G. Powell wrote in her 1928 book The History of Old Alexandria, Virginia about the old silversmith on King Street:

"Mr. Benjamin Barton, an Englishman.   One was struck by the peculiar architecture of the windows of his little shop.  An explanation revealed the mechanism.   Late in life Mr. Barton retired from business activity and built a home {City View} across the creek {Little Hunting}.   There were days when he did not come to town, so, by an ingenious arrangement of clockwork, the shutters rose up at eight in the morning and descended at six in the evening.  Mr. Barton was an extremely reserved man....for many years Mr. Barton kept the town clock in order.   One would see him on his way, his long hair and stooping shoulders reminding one of the grandfather in "Old Curosity Shop".  His family led a secluded life, but were people of culture and taste, and the best class of literature was to found on Mr. Barton's library table.  His eldest daughter,  Miss Mary Barton, was the first woman in this vicinity to study medicine.  She was highly thought of in the country around her, where she promptly responded to the call of the sick and needy....She died before reaching middle life.   Mr. Barton lived to a respected old age."

A Few MAY Flowers of City View

May 15, 2013 -- Three young white tailed bucks visiting the LINK TRAINER building on this fine May morning !!
In Memoriam -- 27 April 2013
Peter Q. Nyce, Jr.

Mr. Peter Q. Nyce, Jr. trained in an Aeronca out of Beacon Field in the mid 1950's on several "hot and humid days". He graduated from American University Law School and had a lengthy career in government law. He was most proud of his grassy 1900' foot runway near the Wicomico River in Maryland. (photo courtesy J. Emrico)

Mr. Peter Q. Nyce, Jr.
Mr. Peter Q. Nyce, Jr.
November 2012


Beacon Field November 1959-- Burnelli CBY-3 (N17N)

Historic Beacon Field Airport -- November 8, 2012

The famous one of a kind Burnelli Loadmaster CBY-3 (N17N) that was rebuilt on Beacon Field by Mr. Paul Zimmer and Mr. Junie Marshall is being restored !!    

The New England Air Museum of Windsor Locks, CT, contacted us about their acquisition of the CBY-3 that is in “rough condition but structurally ok”.     A team of highly skilled volunteers are setting forth a multi year restoration plan for the aircraft that will become a permanent display in their fine museum.    Paste this link in your browser to visit the NEAM restoration hangar:

The workmanship quality on the museum’s recently finished F-104C Starfighter project is amazing and can be seen on their website.   NEAM restorer, Harry Newman, said “the F-104C was a complete wreck after being caught up in a tornado and left outside for 30 years”.

 The restoration of the Burnelli CBY-3 is the second time that this very unique bird has been rebuilt.    This was the last and most sophisticated lifting air vehicle designed and built by Vincent Burnelli to carry passengers and freight.   Often Burnelli’s designs were referred to as flying wings because the fuselage is used as the lifting body.    However, flying wings do not have tails.

 After World War II,  the surplus of cheap DC-3s and C-46s made marketing the Loadmaster impossible and ownership remained in private hands.     In the mid 1950’s,  eyewitness accounts (who should have been paying attention to the teacher in the old Mount Vernon High School on Route 1) remember leaping to the windows to see the fuselage and the wing on two different trucks loudly laboring north to Beacon Field.     

Collectible JELL-O Hostess Promotional item (CLICK PIC for more info)
Reverse side with CBY-3 propeller config and JELL-O Hostess logo

The presence of the Burnelli on Beacon Field always generated much interest and publicity due to the international attention afforded from commercial activities in Northern Canada (CF-BEL-X), Venezula, and other parts of South America.   Paul Zimmer’s maintenance shop took on the arduous task of rebuilding this basket case.      Junie Marshall spent countless hours rebuilding the 85 foot wing to airworthiness in Zimmer’s hangar (see Salute). 

When Beacon Field Airport closed October 1, 1959,  the unfinished Burnelli remained until completion.   In early December,  Paul Zimmer began doing taxi test runs on the long runway,  one of which resulted in the aircraft lifting off:   “I just hauled back a little to see how she felt and it was in the air before I knew it.  I decided I was already up there so I might as well go on”.       Indeed he did and flew to Friendship Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, to the new owner Ballard Aircraft Corporation who had plans for mass production.     The dream was never fulfilled and the aircraft ended its flying days.   (see photo below)

The NEAM plans include the display of CBY-3 historic photos and memorabilia from the Beacon Flying Days !!


December 12, 1959-- Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster on tarmac at Friendship Airport, Baltimore, MD, direct from Beacon Field Airport restoration. Ballard Aircraft Corp representative standing at rear. Photo by Joe DiPaola, Jr (The Sunpapers)
June-July-August 2012

BOS Recognizes Mayo Stuntz's 
50 Years of Service !!!

July 31, 2012,  Fairfax County Government Center--  Mr. Mayo Stuntz, a very good Friend of Beacon Field Airport, received recognition today from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for his 50 Years of Service on the Fairfax County History Commission.    Mr. Stuntz, accompanied by his wife Connie, received an award plaque from Chairman Sharon Bulova.   Congratulations to Mayo and thank you for all the years of support !!!!

July 31, 2012, Fairfax County Government Center:   Mr. Mayo Stuntz (2nd from right) receives recognition from Chairman Bulova (far right) for 50 years of service on the Fairfax County History Commission.
July 31, 2012, Fairfax County Government Center: Mr. Mayo Stuntz (2nd from right) receives recognition from Chairman Bulova (far right) for 50 years of service on the Fairfax County History Commission.
The Pilots' Club Lands on the old Gravel Road

7/28/2012 Litter Patrol Team: Hicks, Lehman, Hampton, Emrico (not pictured Alloway, Emrico) {courtesy L.Emrico)
July 28, 2012 -- Historic Gravel Road (Route 633)   

Friends of Beacon Field Airport made a first ever Saturday scheduled litter patrol in support of VDOT's Adopt a Highway program.  Trash along the old "Gravel Road" Route 633 (South Kings Highway) between Benson Drive and Franklin Street were collected amidst sharing stories about DC-3s and Lockheed Electras,  FAA exams, Eastern Airlines,  Historic Route 1 family businesses (White Owl Bar/Motel, Palm Reader/Corner Market), and the Hardbower and Pullman farms.   

To date, more than 1200 lbs of trash and debris have been removed from the historic Gravel Road !!

A very calm Saturday on South Kings Highway {courtesy L. Emrico}
Poster Perfect for Adopt a Highway--Can this be Route 633 aka Interstate South Kings Highway ?
Beacon Field Historic Site Threatened by Dog Park Installation

1957 Aerial of Beacon Field Airport Historic Site with proposed dog park location

The Latest News !!

Historic Beacon Field Airport, VA, August 16, 2012--    After 4 months and 4 letters we finally received a letter today dated 8 August from the Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority, Mr. John Dargle, answering our question who chose the exact site for the Lenclair Dog Park.    In the letter below,  Mr. Dargle states that the "Groveton Civic Association identified the southern portion of Lenclair Park as their preferred site".   



Friends CALL FOR ACTION Letter

Historic Groveton, VA, June 18, 2012 {editorial update August 5, 2012}---  Friends of Beacon Field Airport very recently learned that Fairfax County plans on installing a permanent off leash dog area (OLDA) dog park on the south end of the north/south Beacon Field runway which is now occupied by Lenclair Park.  This area is on the historic Beacon Field Airport at City View site which has been on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites since July 2007 and commemorated with a Fairfax County Historic Marker and Dedication Ceremony  in 2009 attended by the Honorable Congressman Gerry Connolly.     Click icon below for site plan notice/plat.

To protect historic resources, the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Department of Planning and Zoning have strict rules against the installation of dog parks on or in the vicinity of historic resource sites.   Click here for FCPA's appropriate site criteria (paragraph 2, first bullet) or the .pdf file below for the published criteria.    Also,  recent news coverage ( see Mt Vernon Voice 6 June 2012 or Belle-Haven ) concerning the delay of  the Westgrove Dog Park on Fort Hunt Road brought to light that FC Planning and Zoning must certify that proposed dog parks are not on or in the vicinity of historic sites.   Click right icon for an example of the required historic preservation certification.

The request for the dog owners sponsor organization  information through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) revealed that no formal paperwork (Letter of Intent/Memorandum of Understanding)  has been filed with Fairfax County to sponsor the OLDA in Lenclair Park.

As private citizens, we have sent a letter to the Honorable Chairman Bulova, Honorable Supervisor McKay, and FCPA Director Dargle, pointing out what we believe to be an oversight of their own requirements and stated policies by installing this dog park on an official Fairfax County historic site and within 650 feet of the historic marker.  We asked that the proposed dog park be relocated to a more appropriate site.  To date we have received no response.     

Click here to see how the Arlington County Board handled a similar situation in 2004 regarding the relocation of a dog park in a historic area:

{Fairfax County recently approved the Monticello Park Master Plan (June 27, 2012) that had been through the normal due process that involved much public debate and discussion on the future of the park including an off leash dog area.  CLICK HERE for links to the public comments and the approved master plan.   The Lenclair Dog Park has no master plan and public comments were not solicited on the dog park.}  (editorial update 8/5/12) 

We encourage all Friends to support the call for action that Fairfax County uphold its current mandates and policies to preserve the dignity of our historic airport site by relocating the proposed dog park site.  Do not be surprised if you are greeted with apathy, remain vigilant  and  WRITE, CALL or EMAIL these officials quickly :


CHAIRMAN Sharon Bulova

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

12000 Government Ctr Pkwy, Suite 530, 

Fairfax, VA 22035 

(703) 324-2321

Chairman Email link:


6121 Franconia Road 

Alexandria, VA 22310

  (703) 971-6262

Lee District Supervisor email link:

FCPA Director John W. Dargle Jr.

12055 Government Ctr Pkwy, 

Suite 927, 

Fairfax, VA 22035,

 (703) 324-8702

Park Authority Email Link:

and to all FCPA Board Members:

Historic Beacon Field Airport, VA, June 28, 2012 ---We have received correspondence from Supervisor McKay and Chairman Bulova; however, neither addressed the justification for placing the dog park on the historic site within 650 feet of the historic marker.   We still have not received a response from the Fairfax County Park Authority who approved the location despite having strict rules against the placement on or in the vicinity of historic sites.    

Additionally, the CALL FOR ACTION has brought forth new information that a solid petition opposing the dog park from 55 residents along the most affected streets, Memorial and Lenclair Streets, was submitted to the FCPA prior to their puzzling decision.  CLICK Here --->  (see last sentence on page 4 in 16 November 2011 FCPA agenda item)


Historic Beacon Field Airport, VA, July 9, 2012--    Today we received a letter dated 1 July from the Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority, Mr. John Dargle, in response to our request for justification in selecting the historic site for the Lenclair OLDA Dog Park.    In the letter at below icons,  Mr. Dargle did not provide any justification for the choice of location.   Instead, the letter addresses the FCPA's reasons that its own criteria does not apply in this instance.
We were shocked to learn that a closed meeting was held the morning of Friday 6 July at the proposed dog park site attended by the FCPA, FC government staffers, and the GCA proponent dog park sponsor group to discuss site layout.   We are pursuing whether this meeting was held in violation of Code of Virginia 2.2-3707, 2.2-3711, which states closed public body meetings are only permitted for certain purposes.


FAQs!!! Historic Beacon Field Airport, VA, August 13, 2012

Thank you for the huge interest, support and questions on the proposed Lenclair Dog Park on the Beacon Field Airport historic site !  We are updating with some of the  the most FAQs and answers/links based on public information available on the FC government website and google search: 

Q.  The proximity of the proposed dog park seems too close to the food store for food safety, is the Giant Food aware of the dog park plans so close to their store?  (7/11/2012)   

A.  We do not believe they have heard about it; however, here is a link to the customer service email to register your concern: 

Q.  I just heard about this dog park and when is the public hearing so people can express views ? (7/1/2012)

 A.   The public hearing was conducted by the Board of Supervisors July 11, 2005,  which had followed the Planning Commission’s Approval June 30, 2005.    The Lenclair Dog Park is a proffer that was buried in the development conditions  (read more updated 8/13) ....  

April 2012

Beacon Field Airport® Revealed in NEW PBS TV Series

Click for DVD/Blu Ray

April 18, 2012, Historic Beacon Field, Va ---  Congratulations to Lion TV and Yul Kwon for presenting an exceptional capture of the challenges facing the early aviation pioneers in transcontinental flight in Episode 2 of America Revealed which aired at 10pm.  Yul traveled to probably America's last operating beacon located in Montana and climbed the 90 foot steel tower to deliver his message. This was the BEST depiction of the evolution of marking the airways we have seen!!   Of course, we were also thrilled with the inclusion of Beacon Field Airport and credits to FOBFA at the end  !!   Catch it here if you missed it !


April 17, 2012 -- With military precision at exactly 10:00 AM EST the Space Shuttle Discovery atop a 747 escorted by a USAF T-38 flew over the Beacon Field Airport Marker to the thrill of onlookers.
APRIL 17, 2012, 10AM EST over Beacon Field Airport
March 2012

HIGH NOON at Hybla Valley Airport !!!

3/23/2012: Friends of Beacon Field Airport Harry Lehman and Anna Marie Hicks REJOICE at the new HVA Marker Installation!!! Story below!
HVA Marker Installed 3/23/2012

March 23, 2012, Historic Hybla Valley, Va ---   At high noon on this very warm 85 degree March day, the much anticipated installation of the Hybla Valley Airport Historic Marker was accomplished !     Friends of Beacon Field Airport were all smiles at the picturesque weather and location courtesy of Five Guys Burger and Fries !!!  

Visit the Hybla Valley Airport website for history and photos.   This marker and other nearby markers are also listed on the national Historic Marker Database website . 

Five Guys, 7622 Richmond Highway location. (CLICK for GOOGLE mapping)
SFDC releases Discover Richmond Highway History Brochure !

9 March 2012 --   Friends of Beacon Field Airport are delighted to share the Southeast Fairfax County Corporation's (SFDC) newest brochure Discover Richmond Highway History that highlights on a retro 1956 Shell Motoring map the location of all the nearby historic markers as well as a wonderful spotlight on Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports!!  
The Southeast Fairfax County Development Corporation (SFDC) is a 501(c)3 organization committed to improving Richmond Highway.     Visit their website  or click the link below !

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Beacon Friends Create New Blend with Starbucks
on Historic Route 1 !

3/7/2012 FIRST FLIGHT: Friends of Beacon Field Airport help BEACON Starbucks team launch first flight of their newly adopted portion of Historic Route 1 at Beacon Centre. L->R Marylee Feier, Brandon Perkett, Jasper Hollins, and Lisa Emrico. Tall guy in back Harry Lehman. Story below !
March 7, 2012 -- Historic GROVETON, VA   

Friends of Beacon Field Airport
helped Beacon Starbucks launch their first ever VDOT Adopt-A-Highway litter patrol on Route 1 (Richmond Highway) on the frontage of Beacon Mall.    Clearly overdue for litter control maintenance, the crew arduously plucked hundreds of fast food wrappers, plastic lids, cellophane wrappers, illegal signage, and occasional car parts from the curbside median.   Another Beacon Friend, Mike Phelps,  happened to be nearby and spontaneously  volunteered to transport the bags to a central pickup.

Shortly after the patrol began, the team experienced first hand the volume and seriousness of the traffic flow when first responders were called to an attempted robbery north in Penn Daw.    The Fairfax County Police Helicopter circled overhead while resolute team members diligently filled over 15 orange bags of debris.

Location: Beacon Field Airport Highway, Left->Right: H. Lehman, J. Hollins, J. Emrico, M. Feier. In background, newly constructed Beacon of Groveton
February 2012

Now..... and One Year Ago!   In the Shadow of the Marker.... the BEACON of GROVETON rises!!!!

Feb 3, 2012: The Beacon of Groveton takes on a familiar shape! The view from the top is reminiscent of the City View Mansion roof top observation deck.

February 4, 2012,  Historic Groveton, Va ---  In just one short year since the ground was broken (see 2/9/11 story) on the old Groveton School site at Reid's corner,  the luxury apartment residence complex has risen with remarkable speed.    The Beacon of Groveton (formerly named  Heights of Groveton) phase one is well on the way to completion offering 290 luxury units and 10,000 square feet of ground retail space. 

The expansive vistas of the Potomac River, Washington Monument, and Masonic Temple,  from the upper stories will be reminiscent of those seen from the City View Mansion.   Built on one of the highest elevations in Fairfax County,  the Beacon of Groveton will be a sought after location. 

2/4/12: The Beacon of Groveton construction project
January 2012

E.W. Robertson

January 25, 2012,  Historic Beacon Field, Va  (update 2 March)---   Good news !!   The Friends of Beacon Field Airport nominated and paid for half of the Hybla Valley Airport Historic Marker fabrication which has now been completed and will be installed soon at the end of the old runway which is now the Five Guys Burgers & Fries in Hybla Valley. SEWAH Studios, Inc. located in Marietta, Ohio, manufactured the "Hybla Valley Airport" historic marker.

Bob Ashburn

SEWAH Studios was founded in 1927 by Mr. E. M. Hawes and began operation in what was formerly an organ factory on the west side of historic Marietta, Ohio. In naming the company, Mr. Hawes spelled his last name backwards. The company was purchased by the Smith family in 1954 and a new plant was constructed at the present site in 1959, where today they cast approximately 1200 markers each year. 

Historical markers made by Sewah can be found in each of the fifty states and in several foreign countries. Virginia and Fairfax County purchase their official state markers from Sewah Studios.  Fairfax County Historic markers  are two-sided aluminum castings with letters in raised relief; the word count for Fairfax markers is limited to 100 words.

Historic and custom markers are SEWAH Studios only product and as such they produce the finest marker products in the country. Custom marker fabrication is labor-intensive requiring many skilled craftsmen to create a piece of art from aluminum billets - all of the work is done in-house from the layout, pouring liquid aluminum into a custom mold, thru to the final hand painting. This process takes about 5 days from the layout to the finished marker.    Visit our Hybla Valley Airport website to see actual photos of the marker being made!!  

©Copyright 2013 Friends of Beacon Field Airport at City View and, no part of this website including sound or text content may be copied, reproduced or used for any other purpose without express written permission of the website owner.   Beacon Field Airport® is a registered trademark of the website owner.