The History of Republic Airport

1. Farmingdale’s Aviation Origins:

Located in Farmingdale, Long Island, Republic Airport is an historically significant airfield to the region and the world, having played both military and civilian roles. But long before it became an airfield, it gave rise to the manufacturers that built airplanes.

“The Industrial Revolution and airplane manufacture came to Farmingdale during World War I when Lawrence Sperry and Sydney Breese established their pioneering factories in the community,” wrote Ken Neubeck and Leroy E. Douglas in their book, Airplane Manufacturing in Farmingdale (Arcadia Publishing, 2016, p. 9). “They were drawn by the presence of two branches of the Long Island Railroad… the nearby Route 24, which brought auto and truck traffic to and from the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge in Manhattan; the level outwash plain, which provided land for flying fields; and the proximity to skilled workers… “

The area’s first aviation roots, however, were planted as far back as 1917. The Lawrence Sperry Airplane Company, incorporated that year with $50,000 of capital and located on Rose and Richard streets in the village of Farmingdale, produced its first aircraft in the form of the Messenger.

Designed by Alfred Verville of the US Army’s Engineering Division at McCook Field, the minuscule, 17.9-foot-long, all-wood biplane was intended for “aerial motorcycle” missions, alighting in small clearings to drop off and pick-up messages from field commanders, thus earning its name. Farmingdale’s aviation roots were equally cultivated by Sydney Breese, whose Breese Aircraft Company, located on Eastern Parkway, designed the Penguin. Resembling the Bleriot XI, the mid-wing airplane, powered by a two-cylinder, 28-hp, roughly-running Lawrence engine, was a non-flying, preflight trainer intended to aid US Army pilot transition from primary to operational types. Deployed on the open prairies of Texas, it sported a wingspan too short to produce lift, but allowed fledgling aviators to gain the feel of pre-departure aerodynamic forces on their horizontal tails. Of the 301 produced, only five were ever used for this purpose; the remainder were placed in storage.

2. Fairchild Aviation Corporation:

If Lawrence Sperry and Sydney Breese laid Farmingdale’s aviation foundation, then Sherman M. Fairchild cemented it.

Initially interested in aerial photography equipment, he founded the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation in 1920, selling two such devices to the Army, and further developed the company into Fairchild Aerial Surveys to engage in map-making when he had received a contract for an additional 20.

Seeking to replace the myriad of airplane types he operated with a single, specifically- designed camera platform, Fairchild devised the required specifications for one, but could not locate a manufacturer able to build it at a reasonable cost. Forced to do so himself, he established his third aviation company, the Fairchild Aviation Corporation, and moved into the Sperry factory in South Farmingdale, vacated as a result of founder Sperry’s tragic death in December of 1923.

The high-wing, strut-braced, single-engine utility aircraft, designated FC-1 and first flying in prototype form in 1926, featured an enclosed and heated cabin to protect the pilot and his camera equipment, but its original OX-5 engine proved inadequate. Retrofitted with a higher-capacity Wright J-4, it was redesignated FC-1A.

The FC-2 production version, supported by wheels, floats, or skis, featured increased cabin volume. Powered by a 200-hp Wright J-5, the aircraft, intended for commercial operations, sported a 31-foot overall length and 44-foot wingspan. Accommodating a single pilot and four passengers, or up to 820 pounds of cargo, it had a 3,400-pound gross weight and could attain maximum, 122-mph speeds and operate 700-mile segments.

Demand at the South Farmingdale factory soon eclipsed capacity. After aerially surveying the region, Fairchild himself chose a 77,967-acre alternate on the south side of Route 24 and Conklin Street in East Farmingdale, a site which offered prevailing, South Shore winds and multiple-mode ground access by means of a railroad line and the major, Route 110 corridor, which would facilitate both personnel and raw material transport to the new field. Repackaged into airplanes, the latter could then fly out.

“The 77,967-acre Fairchild Flying Field was developed in the late winter and early spring of 1928 and was originally owned and operated by the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Manufacturing Company,” according to the Long Island-Republic Airport Historical Society. “The first flights from (it) took place in (the) late spring of 1928 after the Fairchild Airplane and the Fairchild Engine factories were completed and aircraft were produced (there). Fairchild built Model 41, 41A, 42, 21, 100, and 150 airplanes… “

Wings, like those of the Hempstead Plains to the west, once again rose from the farm fields of Long Island, built, propelled, and supported, respectively, by the Fairchild Airplane Factory, the Fairchild Engine Factory, and the Fairchild Flying Field, after Faircam Realty, Inc., purchased the land and its initial layout was established on November 3, 1927.

Although Fairchild produced multiple models at its new Long Island aviation center, its roots would quickly prove tenuous. Moving its headquarters to Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1931, after only three years, it vacated its facilities, which were almost immediately reoccupied by the American Corporation, or AVCO, whose Airplane and Engine divisions produced the Pilgrim 100 transport for American Airways. But the Depression, taking too large a bite out of the economy, severely diminished demand for it, since aircraft acquisitions were high on a company’s cost reduction list, and its presence proved shorter than Fairchild’s. By mid-1932, it had equally disappeared.

3. Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation:

Initially located in Valley Stream, where it designed floats, the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation moved further east, to the Fairchild Flying Field, and took up residence in the former Fulton Truck Factory, where it hatched its first production fighter, the FF-1. Powered by a single, 750-hp Wright engine, the biplane, with a retractable undercarriage, was also offered in scout configuration, as the SF-1.

The most significant aircraft to emerge from the East Farmingdale production line, however, was the Duck. Tracing its origins to the Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation’s XO2L-1, it had been submitted to the US Navy in 1931, but, since Loening himself lacked the required facilities to build it, he turned to Leroy Grumman, his former colleague, who re-submitted it in modified form. Accepted on April 25, 1933, the biplane, called XJF-1, was powered by a 700-hp Twin Wasp engine, which drove a three-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller. Its bracing, consisting of one set of struts outboard of the fuselage and a second one, of wires, between the two wings, was minimal for its day. Water operations were supported by a centerline, under-fuselage float, into which the undercarriage retracted.

In all, 632 JF and J2F Ducks were produced, pressed into global, multiple-role service.

Although Grumman’s Farmingdale presence exceeded that of all others, it nevertheless ended after a half-decade, in 1937, when it relocated to larger headquarters in Bethpage, Long Island.

4. Seversky Aircraft Corporation:

Seversky Aircraft Corporation next took center stage in Farmingdale when it relocated there from College Point in Queens, occupying the former American Corporation factory.

A decorated World War I ace, Alexander P. de Seversky, like Igor Sikorsky, immigrated to the US from Russia, and in 1923, developed the first gyroscopically-stabilized bombsight at the Sperry Gyroscope Company, before establishing his own Seversky Aero Corporation, which focused on aircraft instruments and parts.

Injected with fresh capital, it initially occupied the EDO Corporation’s floatplane factory.

His first major design, the SEV-3, was both aerodynamically sleek and progressive, reflecting Seversky’s aviation-intuitive nature. Powered by a single, 420-hp, nose-mounted, Wright J-6 Whirlwind engine, the all-metal, low-wing aircraft, accommodating a pilot and two passengers in sliding, tandem canopied cockpits, was either supported by a wheeled undercarriage or floats, and in 1933 established a world speed record for piston amphibians. Two years later, on September 15, it sustained a 230-mph airspeed.

The foundation of many subsequent versions, which externally exhibited only minor variations over the basic design, it evolved into the next major iteration, the BT-8. As the first all-metal, enclosed cockpit design operated by the US Army Air Corps, it featured a 24.4-foot length and 36-foot wingspan. Powered by the 400-hp Pratt and Whitney R-985-11, the 4,050-pound airplane, accommodating two, had a 175-mph maximum speed. Thirty were built. It led to the definitive version.

Originally occupying Hangar 2 on New Highway and today used by the American Airpower Museum, Seversky Aircraft Corporation took over the Grumman factory in 1937 when it had relocated to Bethpage, thus maintaining two facilities. But, echoing the short history of the East Farmingdale airfield’s tenants, it came to an abrupt end: although Seversky, like many other aviation-minded “geniuses,” possessed the necessary design skills to create progressive airplanes, he lacked the necessary managerial flip-side of the equation needed to devise a proper, and profitable, business plan to market them, resulting in a $550,000 loss by April of 1939. While conducting a European sales tour six months later, on October 13, he was ousted by his own board of directors, who voted for his removal from the very company he had founded.

Reorganized, it was rebranded “Republic Aviation Corporation.”

5. Republic Aviation Corporation:

Fairchild Flying Field’s fortune was about to change. Fueled by World War II, the fledgling Republic Aviation Corporation would explode in size and its roots would become so deeply implanted in Farmingdale soil that it would be decades before they could be unearthed.

Instrumental in that war was the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

Succeeding the Seversky P-35, it was the result of Army Air Corps requirements, which included a 400-mph airspeed, a 25,000-foot service ceiling, at least six.50-caliber machine guns, armor plating protection, self-sealing fuel tanks, and a minimum fuel capacity of 315 gallons.

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, which dwarfed all other aircraft, was the world’s largest, heaviest, single-engine, single-seat strategic World War II fighter, offering unequaled dive speeds.

War-fed growth of the officially-renamed “Republic Airport” resulted in the expansion of the company’s existing factory on the south side of Conklin Street, as well as the construction of three additional buildings, the installation of a control tower, and the lengthening of its existing runways, all in an effort to support P-47 production, which totaled 9,087 units in Farmingdale alone and required a work force of 24,000 to accomplish by 1944. Employees filtered in by the thousands every day. A round-the-clock production line spat a completed aircraft out of the factory every hour, and these were then ferried by the Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs. Republic Aviation, one of the country’s primary defense arteries, pumped man-and-machine into the agricultural plains of Farmingdale and transformed them into an arsenal of democracy within an 18-month period.

“By 1945, Republic was contributing more than 30 percent of the Army Air Force fighters to the war effort against the Luftwaffe in the skies of Europe,” wrote Leroy E. Douglas in his “Conklin Street Cut-Off” article published in the September 1984 issue of Long Island Forum (p. 182). “Thus, Republic, Ranger, and its 23,000 plus workers-more than half of whom were women-did their part to win the war.”

When World War II’s doors closed, so, too, did those of the Thunderbolt factory, and Republic was forced to diversify its product range in terms of purpose and powerplant, converting military Douglas C-54 Skymasters into commercial DC-4 airliners, producing 1,059 civilian Seabee amphibian aircraft, and attempting to design a passenger transport of its own.

The resultant aircraft, the Republic XF-12 Rainbow–along with the competing, and identically-powered, Hughes XF-11–both received a contract for two.

Emulating the graceful lines of the Lockheed Constellation, the Rainbow, featuring a 93.9-foot overall length and incorporating design experience amassed during Republic’s fighter aircraft development, exuded an appearance quintessentially captured by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine when it reported, “The sharp nose and cylindrical cigar shape of the XF-12 fulfills a designer’s dream of a no-compromise design with aerodynamic considerations.”

Peace proved the aircraft’s enemy. The close of World War II obviated its (and the comparable Hughes XF-11’s) need. Nevertheless, because of its long-range, high-speed and -altitude, day and night, limited-visibility photo-reconnaissance capability, it was ideal as a territory-mapping platform. Indeed, on September 1, 1948, the second of only two aircraft built photographed its transcontinental flight path from the Air Force Flight Test Center in Muroc, California, to Mitchell Field in Garden City, Long Island, during Operation Birds Eye.

Returning to its military roots, Republic entered the pure-jet era with a P-47 Thunderbolt successor.

Featuring a 37.5-foot length, the design, conceived shortly before the end of the war in 1944, retained the straight wings associated with propeller airplanes. These spanned 36.5 feet.

First flying on February 28, 1946, the 19,689-pound fighter-bomber, designated F-84 Thunderjet and able to climb at 4,210-fpm, established a national speed record of 611 mph, as powered by the 3,750-thrust-pound J35-GE-7. Its range was 1,282 miles and its service ceiling was 40,750 feet. Its production totaled 4,455 units.

Development of its successor began in 1949. Because of an Air Force funding shortage, Republic reduced development costs by retaining commonality, to the tune of 60 percent, with the F-84, but introduced swept wings. The aircraft, powered by a 4,200 thrust-pound Allison XJ35-A-25 engine and initially designated YF-96A, first flew on June 3 of the following year, three months before it was renamed F-84F Thunderstreak.

Korean War-sparked fund increases enabled Republic to complete a second prototype, which first flew on February 14, 1951 with a YJ65-W-1 engine, and it was followed by the first production example, which took to the skies on November 22, 1952. The type was deployed by NATO countries during the Cold War.

F-84F Thunderstreak production totaled 2,713 airplanes.

Nevertheless, Ken Neubeck and Leroy E. Douglas summarized Republic-based aircraft manufacturing by stating in their book, Airplane Manufacturing in Farmingdale (pp. 7-8). “While aviation started in Farmingdale with cloth-covered triplanes and biplanes and prop engines, after World War II Republic helped moved the United States into the jet age with the F-84 and F-84F, which assisted US forces in Korea and NATO nations in the 1950s.”

6. Fairchild Republic Corporation

Although Fairchild departed the very airport it had created in 1931, that absence was short-lived. Reappearing three years later, it took up residence in its former engine factory as the newly formed Ranger Aircraft and Engine Corporation and remained there until 1948. But, for a second time, history was to come full cycle.

Acquiring Hiller Helicopters nine years later, it became Fairchild Hiller, and in July of 1965, it purchased the majority of Republic stock, resulting in the Republic Aviation Division of Fairchild Hiller. Fairchild had thus returned to the soil in which it had planted its first seeds. In 1971, it continued its buying spree, purchasing Swearingen and producing and marketing the 19-passenger, twin-turboprop Fairchild-Swearingen Metro commuter airliner. The following year, the company adopted the official title of “Fairchild Republic.”

Its principle design, conceptualized before the Republic acquisition, was given birth by the Air Force requirement for a close air support aircraft incorporating simplicity, ease of maintenance, and short-field performance, in order to operate from small forward air bases close to the battle line.

Designated A-10 Thunderbolt II and enjoying a production run of 733, it was instrumental in the Gulf War and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

7. Post-War Manufacturing:

Although Republic Airport and its aviation companies had been associated with mostly-military aircraft design and manufacture, several diverse commercial and space components also emerged from its doors.

Integral to the Boeing 747, for instance, were the leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps, spoilers, and ailerons built by the Republic Aviation division of Fairchild Hiller, while it was also contracted to provide a similar role in its proposed, but canceled, supersonic 2707 airliner.

Equally integral to the Space Shuttle were the Fairchild Republic components manufactured in Farmingdale.

After awarded a $13 million contract by Rockwell International of Los Angeles on March 29, 1973, Fairchild Hiller designed and developed six aluminum vertical tail stabilizers, which sported 45-degree leading edges and measured 27 feet high by 22 feet long, in Hangar 17, along with their associated rudders and speedbrakes. The first, installed on test vehicle Enterprise, facilitated its atmospheric launch from a piggy-backed 747 platform over Edwards Air Force Base on February 18, 1977, while the others were mounted on Space Shuttles Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor.

Expanding the commuter airliner involvement initiated with the Swearingen Metro, Fairchild Republic signed an agreement with Saab-Scania of Sweden on January 25, 1980 to launch the SF-340, in what became the first fully collaborative venture between a US and European aviation manufacturer. Fairchild Republic was contracted to design and build its wings, engine nacelles, and vertical and horizontal tail surfaces, with final assembly occurring in Sweden.

Fairchild Swearingen was assigned North American marketing responsibility, while a jointly owned Swedish company, Saab-Fairchild HB, established an office in Paris to fulfill this function elsewhere.

Powered by twin turboprop engines, the aircraft accommodated 34 passengers in a four-abreast configuration with a central aisle.

After completing some 100 wing sets, however, Fairchild terminated its contract work on the regional airliner, withdrawing from all civil projects, and the aircraft was redesignated the Saab 340.

8. Changing Roles:

Passed the ownership torch on March 31, 1969, Republic Airport was thereinafter operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which continued to transform it into a public-use entity by acquiring 94 adjacent acres from the US government and purchasing an additional 115 privately owned ones to the south and southwest.

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority took title to Republic Airport as a first step in converting it into a general aviation (field),” according to the Long Island-Republic Airport Historical Society.

Initiating a modernization program, it made several improvements. High-intensity lights were installed on 5,516-foot Runway 1-19 and 6,827-foot Runway 14-32, for example, the latter of which was also equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS). The Fulton Truck Factory, the airport’s original structure dating from 1916, was razed, while Flightways transformed a ten-acre site on the north side of Route 109 into a complex of new hangars, administration buildings, fuel storage tanks, and aircraft tie-downs. A dual-level Administration, Terminal, and Maintenance building opened in 1983, not far from, and shortly before, the operational phase-in of a 100-foot, $2.2 million FAA control tower.

In order to promote economic development of the surrounding region, New York State legislature transferred ownership, for a third time, to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) on April 1, 1983, which was advised by a nine-member Republic Airport Commission. It hardly curtailed the modernization momentum.

Indeed, eight years later, a $3.5 million, 25,600-square-foot Grumman Corporate Hangar, replacing the aircraft storage facility previously maintained at its now-closed Bethpage airfield and housing a Beechcraft King Air, a Gulfstream I, and two British Aerospace BAe-125-800s, opened.

In April of 1993, ground was broken for a $3.3 million, 20,000-square-foot SUNY Farmingdale Aerospace Education Center on the east side of Route 110.

Million Air, a subsidiary of Executive Air Support, constructed an 11,700-square-foot Executive Air Terminal and corporate hangar on the airport’s south end, and, by 2001, Air East commenced operations in its own, new, radiant-heated, 10,000-square-foot hangar, which also featured a 2,500-square-foot shop and 4,500-square-foot office and flight school. Yet another hangar-and-office complex, located in the Lambert area, opened its doors in June of 2005 when Talon Air, a charter company, began operations from it.

In order to provide increased clearance needed by the latest-generation of business jets, such as the Gulfstream V and the Bombardier Global Express, taxiway B (bravo) was relocated.

Indeed, more than $18 million in capital improvements were made since 2000 alone.

These enhancements, provisioning the airport for its new, general aviation role, had perhaps been a premonition of things to come.

In 1982, Fairchild Republic won a contract to build two new-generation Air Force T-46A training jets; but, the milestone, initially envisioned as a monetary lifeline, only provided the reverse effect: although the prototype was first rolled out three years later, it lacked some 1,200 parts, and although the second made a successful, 24-minute maiden flight in July of 1986, the contract for the program, fraught with controversy, was canceled, resulting in the layoffs of 500 employees.

Like so many companies dependent upon military contracts for survival, Fairchild Republic, without choice, ceased to exist the following year, leaving its sprouting factories and a legacy, which had begun six decades earlier. Ironically, the two names which had been the most instrumental in the airport’s beginning and growth-Fairchild and Republic-were the same two which had been involved in its demise. The doors of the Farmingdale airfield’s primarily-military aircraft manufacturing and testing chapter thus closed, and those to its general aviation one opened.

“With the company experiencing major financial problems in 1986-1987 and with the loss of support for the T-46A program in Congress, Fairchild terminated both the SF-340 and T-46A production after building only four aircraft,” according to Ken Neubeck and Leroy E. Douglas in Airplane Manufacturing in Farmingdale (p. 99). “Thus, by the fall of 1987, seventy years of airplane manufacturing in Farmingdale ended with employment and economic loss to the community and the New York metropolitan area.”

9. Airline Service:

In 1966, a year after ownership of Republic Airport was transferred from Fairchild Hiller to Farmingdale Corporation, it was officially designated a general aviation (civil) facility, fielding its first landing, of a twin-engine Beechcraft operated by Ramey Air Service from Islip, on December 7. In order to transform it into a gateway by facilitating airline connections at the three major New York airports, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority contracted with Air Spur to provide this feeder service four years later, assessing $12 one-way fares.

Although Republic was never envisioned as a major commercial airport, its central Long island location, proximity to the Route 110 corridor, and considerable infrastructure poised it for limited, scheduled and charter service to key business and leisure destinations within neighboring states. Yet its inherent operational limitation was succinctly stated in the 2000 Republic Airport Master Plan Update.

“At Republic Airport,” it explained (Chapter 3, p. 8), “the New York State Department of Transportation implemented an aircraft weight limitation of 60,000 pounds in 1984. This weight limitation restricts the operation of aircraft over 60,000 pounds actual gross weight without the written consent of the airport operator.”

“Forecasts indicate that there will be an increase in the number of jet aircraft based at Republic Airport,” the Master Plan Update stated, “as well as an increase in jet operations,” as ultimately proven by annual pure-jet operation statistics: 2,792 in fiscal year 1986, 4,056 in 1990, 4,976 in 1995, and 6,916 in 1998. And, of its average annual number of based aircraft-about 500-this segment was also the fastest growing: 10 jet aircraft in 1985, 15 in 1995, and 20 in 1998. That number has since more than doubled.

One of the first scheduled airline attempts was made in 1978 when Cosmopolitan Airlines, operating an ex-Finnair Convair CV-340 and two ex-Swissair CV-440 Metropolitans in single-class, four-abreast, configurations, offered all-inclusive, single-day, scheduled charter packages to Atlantic City from its Cosmopolitan Sky Center. Its flyer had advised: “Fly to Atlantic City for only $19.95 net. Here’s how it works: Pay $44.95 for a round-trip flight ticket to Atlantic City, including ground transportation to and from the Claridge Hotel and Casino. Upon arrival at the Claridge, you’ll receive $20.00 in food and beverage credits good at any restaurant except the London Pavilion. You will also receive a $5.00 flight credit good for your next fight to the Claridge on Cosmopolitan Airlines.”

The carrier also briefly attempted to offer two daily scheduled round-trips to Boston on its 52-passenger CV-440s in 1980.

Facilitating this scheduled service growth was the construction of a passenger terminal.

“The terminal building, completed in 1983, has approximately 50,000 square feet of useable floor space and houses airport service vehicles, maintenance, fire protection, public terminal space, and rental areas on the first floor, plus administration offices on the second floor. Approximately 70 employees work in the building,” according to the 2000 Republic Airport Master Plan Update (Chapter 1, p. 17).

Attempting to establish a link between Farmingdale and the major New York metropolitan airport of Newark International in order to feed its departures, PBA Provincetown Boston Airline commenced shuttle service with Cessna C-402 commuter aircraft, connecting Long Island by means of a 30-minute aerial hop with up to five daily round-trips and coordinating schedules with PEOPLExpress Airlines. It advertised avoidance of the excessive drive-times, parking costs, and longer check-in requirements otherwise associated with larger-airport usage, and offered the convenience of through-fares, ticketing, and baggage check to any PEOPLExpress final destination.

According to its June 20, 1986 Northern System timetable, it offered Farmingdale departures at 0700, 0950, 1200, 1445, and 1755.

Demand soon necessitated replacement of the C-402 with a larger, 19-seat Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante.

All of these brief, unsuccessful scheduled attempts, nullifying local residents’ ill-founded concern that Republic would ultimately develop into a major commercial airport and inflict its noise on close-proximity ears, failed to attract the needed traffic to render them self-supporting, emphasizing several airport-specific factors.

1). Republic was consistently associated with general, and not scheduled, operations during the latter part of its history.

2). Long Island MacArthur had already established itself as the island’s principle commercial facility, and carriers, as demonstrated by Precision/Northwest Airlink, gained no revenue advantage by diluting the same market, yet incurring increased airport and operational costs to do so.

“Republic Airport has had service by various commuter airlines and each has ceased service… ,” according to the 2000 Republic Airport Master Plan Update. “The commuter service market area is limited, geographically, taking into account the larger airports, such as La Guardia, Kennedy, and MacArthur and the service they offer.”

“Since 1969, Republic Airport has accommodated the region’s need for an airport devoted to private and business aircraft, as well as charter and commuter operations,” it also stated (Chapter 1, p. 1). “Because Republic is situated in the midst of residential, commercial, and industrial development, its role is inconsistent with that of a scheduled air carrier airport for commercial jet transport.”

With the number of annual passengers having consistently increased-from 13,748 in 1985 and 30,564 in 1990 to 33,854 in 1995-its future commuter role could not be entirely ruled out.

“While past efforts by commuter airlines have not been successful, the potential for future service exists and is to be considered in the planning for the airport,” it concluded (Chapter 2, p. 10).

10. The Future:

Unlike Roosevelt and Glenn Curtiss fields, which succumbed to modern-era pressures and swapped their runways for shopping malls, 526-acre Republic only surrendered a small portion of itself to the Airport Plaza Shopping Center. Instrumental in early-aviation development and in the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, and Iraq wars, it transformed itself into a general aviation facility, peaking with 546-based aircraft and becoming the third-largest New York airport in terms of movements after JFK International and La Guardia.

Billing itself as “the corporate airbridge for Long Island’s 21st-century economy,” this westernmost Long Island general aviation facility accounts for 1,370 jobs and $139.6 million of economic activity, supporting 60 on-airport businesses. The 110,974 movements recorded in 2008 encompassed 52 by non-rigid airships, 7,120 by rotary wing, 76,236 by single-engine pistons, 6,310 by twin-engine pistons, 5,028 by turboprops, and 16,228 by pure-jets. The latter, its second-highest total, emphasizes its increasing role as the “Teterboro of Long Island,” perhaps pointing the way to its future. Indeed, companies considering the area for their corporate locations cite the airport as a major asset, since it provides close-proximity aerial access for personnel and materials.

Toward that end, the State of New York approved funding in April of 2009 for a Vision Planning process to collect data from residents, employees, businesses, and users, and then plot its future course. Specifically, the program had a three-fold purpose-namely, to define the airport’s role, to determine how it will fill that role, and, finally, to ascertain how it will work with the community to attain the desired operational and economic goals.

“As part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), Republic Airport is designated as a reliever airport with commercial service,” according to the 2000 Republic Airport Master Plan Update (Chapter 1, p. 1). “Under ownership by the New York State Department of Transportation, there are specific state development and policy procedures which are followed.”

Although it may never eclipse its current general aviation role, its importance was not to be underestimated.

“”Republic Airport is an important regional asset,” it stated (Chapter 1, p. 1). “It provides significant transportation and economic benefits to both Suffolk and Nassau counties. The policy of the New York State Department of Transportation and the Republic Airport Commission shall be that Republic Airport continue to better serve Long Island.”

Whatever the future holds for it, it has a nine-decade foundation upon which to base it, as acknowledged by the plaque hung in the passenger terminal by the Long Island-Republic Airport Historical Society, “honor(ing) the tens of thousands of men and women who labored here in East Farmingdale, contributing significantly to aviation technology and aircraft production.” Those men and woman turned the wheels of the 11 aviation companies based there.

Sources

Long Island Republic Airport Historical Society website.

Neubeck, Ken, and Douglas, Leroy E. Airplane Manufacturing in Farmingdale. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2016.

2000 Republic Airport Master Plan Update, New York State Department of Transportation.

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KLM is the flag carrier of the Netherlands and also one of the leading airlines in the world. Founded almost a century ago in 1919, its first aircraft flew between its primary hub in Amsterdam and London in 1920. Beginning in 1959, it started acquiring jet planes and expanded its network and services. The most important event in its operational history was perhaps its merger with Air France in September 2003. Even after this, it flies under its own banner and Amsterdam has been retained as its base. As per reports, it possessed a fleet of over 110 aircraft in December 2014 and had more than 30 on order. It serves roughly 130 destinations with two in the Netherlands and the rest outside. The carrier has received numerous awards for its services, including travel classes, entertainment facilities, in-flight dining and the hospitality of its staff. Passengers, making a KLM airlines flight ticket booking, are sure to have a good time on-board as it regularly requests for their feedback and makes improvements based on them.

Classes

Word Business, European Business, Economy Comfort and Economy classes are offered by this Amsterdam-based carrier. It's highest seating-option on long-distance routes is World Business Class, which is available on Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s and 747s. In this category, seats recline to 170 degrees, but most of them in the newer models have been replaced by fully flat ones. Older seats are equipped with 10-inch screens, while the newer versions have 17-inch systems. Passengers, booking these slots, also get on-demand audio and video, massager headrests and individual power points. The Europe Business option is available on short-haul routes and it's cabins are amply spaced, have power sockets and touch screens. Similarly, Economy Comfort is offered on long-distance flights, while the standard Economy versions are offered on both, long and short-haul routes. Passenger in this class on long-duration flights are provided with LCD screens, charging ports and headphones.

Entertainment and Dining

To all higher-class passengers KLM offers more than 1000 hours of entertainment, such as movies, TV shows, games, music and courses in selected foreign languages. Newspapers are also provided to travelers on-board lengthy flights. Once the flight reaches an altitude of over 20000 feet, passengers can connect their smartphones and laptops to complimentary Wi-Fi internet connections as well. Those, flying World Business, get a three-course meal and those availing Europe Business are given one or three courses, depending on the flight duration. People who are traveling with the Economy Comfort option on lengthy routes get two meals and snacks. All alcohol, served on-board, has its prices inclusive in the cost of the ticket and the food dishes are inspired by numerous countries and regions.

Flying from India

India is an important country on the destination-list of KLM and it operates regular flights to and from numerous Indian cities. Passengers can book flights to any international city with it or with those that it shares codes with. Searching available flights between these two cities on the internet is a good idea as online travel portals (OTPs) display all such combinations in one place. While fliers are looking for them, they can also search for the cheapest flight to India if and when they plan on making their return trip.

How to Get Cheap International Airfare

Airfare can be a stranglehold whether it is domestic or international. More often than not, international airfare costs a great deal more than domestic airfare. There are several ways that you can fly out of the country without griping too much about the state of your wallet.

The following are such ways;

o Loyalty: Loyalty always pays off whether you are being loyal to your friend or to an organization. Being a frequent flyer on a particular airline can get you a discount on airfare. Some airliners give you discounts on airfare depending on the number of points that you have managed to accumulate by traveling a particular set of miles. Being consistent with one airline can get you cheap airfare, so avoid jumping from one airliner to the next.

o Travel agencies and tour agencies: You can obtain cheap airfare from tour or travel agencies that offer subsidized international airfare in package deals. Package deals are deals that are offered to a group of international air travelers that include cheap international airfare usually bought in bulk. As an international air traveler, looking out for package deals from these sources can save you extra cash.

o Consolidators: Consolidators are bodies that purchase airline tickets in bulk and sell it off at a cheaper rate. You can book your ticket through a consolidator and get cheap airfare.

o Advance booking: Booking your ticket in advance can save you a lot of trouble. Advance ticket bookings fetch less charges on international airfare than last minute bookings.

o Routes: Check up the route your flight will be taking. If it is less busy, you are bound to get a discount on your international airfare. Busy routes usually attract a higher charge for international flights so watch out!

o Peak seasons: Peak seasons tend to attract a higher charge for international airfare than off peak seasons. As an international air traveler, you stand to benefit more when you travel during off peak seasons than during peak seasons.

These tips should help you get cheap international airfare without too much worries.

Robert W. Wilson, Investor Extraordinaire!

Killing the Market is a short, fascinating read about the life and career of investor and philanthropist Robert W. Wilson.

Given $15,000 from his mother in 1958 as a wedding present (equivalent to about $150,000 today) Wilson invested the money. That began a 40-year career in the financial market – playing the stocks – which landed him with a net worth of over $800 million before his death in 2013.

Author Roemer McPhee, a Princeton-trained in history, asks the question “How did he do it?” and tries (successfully, I think) to answer it in his book. He dives into the life and work of Wilson in what is a detailed explanation of how Wilson was able to accomplish what no one before or after him has done. How he was able to work the market to his favor, and find, with an almost primal instinct, what markets had a future.

Because I have a limited knowledge of the stock market, some of the terms in this book were a bit over my head, but what I found fascinating was the detailed way McPhee describes each big company that Wilson invested in. For me, it was fun reading the details of how these companies got started – companies I’m familiar with from my childhood.

Wilson bought stock in companies such as Datapoint, Bowmar Instrument, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Atari, and Jordache Jeans before others knew what was going on. He also dabbled in oil when others were selling, and in the airlines industry when it wasn’t considered “profitable.”

“He always seemed able to spot an innovator early,” writes McPhee. “Wilson had almost a sixth sense for self-protection and self-preservation in the market, as an investor.”

One of the questions the books asks (and answers), is what do you do with all that money once you have it?

While there isn’t much detail about his personal life, we do find out that Wilson was a man very concerned with the welfare of the earth and its inhabitants. He continually “tithed” as he put it, giving to charities and organization throughout his career. When he retired, however, he became a full-time philanthropist, and gave hundreds of millions of dollars away, making him one of the biggest donors in New York City and in the United States. His chief concern was to continue taking care of the earth and the people and animals that lived on our planet. Like the details that McPhee puts in the book about the companies Wilson bought stock in, he also defines the organizations he gave money to, which I found interesting because I’ve heard of most of these organizations.

The book follows Wilson through to the end of his life: Wilson staying in character until the end.

When I visit New York, now, and I see his name on various buildings or donor plaques, I’ll know the story behind the name. I think that’s cool.

I believe this book is perfect for anyone interested in investing or playing the market, whether professional or amateur. For the rest of us, it makes an interesting read into the life of a man who changed the lives of many people and many companies in the US.

Checklist for Finding the Best Flights Around the World

Traveling is fun, especially if you are traveling thousands of miles for spending a holiday or visiting your old friend. Traveling on buses on trains is not imaginable for long distances making air travel the ultimate option. The prices of air travel differ by country and the airlines. Sometimes the difference is very large and choosing the cheaper one can save lots on costs. But low cost flights may always not be the best option. Low cost flights are relatively less furnished and provide very less facilities to the passengers. Here are some tips and tricks to help you pick the best flight to any destination.

Your nation or place of visit makes the largest difference in the flight costs. Journeying from Melbourne to New York would cost a couple of folds more than traveling from Melbourne to Sydney. If you are traveling very far, you have to work your backside off before finding the cheapest flight deal. Start looking for the cheap airlines months before your journey and book it a few weeks before because inexpensive flights get packed easily.

The airfares in general hike up in the tourist season. For example, should you wish to travel to Thailand during the summer, you will have to pay more because during summer, more holidaymakers flock to Thailand. So, if you are a budget traveler, it is ideal to travel during the off seasons. The increase in price of fuel also induces the air fare to upsurge. Airlines therefore charge much more than the regular price to meet the expenses. But the slump in oil costs can be beneficial as airlines bring down the air fare on such events. You need to understand this and if you want to travel cheap, better not purchase your tickets when the oil prices are high.

Generally, airlines offer flights at cheaper or discounted rates particularly during their anniversaries or some special occasion. Keep tabs on such announcements and get a ticket when the discount offer is still valid. Internet is the best source to keep yourself informed on them. But generally, such announcements are also made through newsprints and Televisions.

One thing that you need to understand is that the cheapest flight is not always the best flight. If you look for more luxury, economy flights typically are not the best option for you. Research online and see what other people say about an airline. Start a discussion at travel forums enquiring the pros and cons of a flight and see what other individuals say about it. On cheap flights, you by and large do not get any snacks or drinks. You will need to compromise with many things if you are traveling via inexpensive flights.

You can have the benefit of cheap flights during certain festive times of year. Like during Christmas and Thanksgiving Day, the air travel prices are down between 15 to 20 percent for long distance flights. The prices are taken down even for short distance flights but by comparatively lesser amount. Some airways offer round trip packages if you are traveling long distances and to multiple cities. They often come with a holiday package but there are individual travel packages too. If you need to make such trips, such packages may be handy and very affordable.

If you are buying your tickets from a travel agent, be heedful to check out the prices with a grateful of them. Sometimes, the price for the same flight can differ from one travel agent to another. It will cost you less to buy direct from the concerned airlines. Do proper research on the internet and you'll unquestionably find the best flight deal.

Airplane Accident Attorney Talks About Airborne Tragedies

Powered flight is perhaps one of man’s greatest achievements. Since that first aircraft flew at Kitty Hawk, man has taken to the skies as if born to it. Today, travel by air is one of the safest ways to go about. Yet as any aviation accident attorney will tell you, it is not a perfect picture.

National Geographic once said that more people die due to donkeys worldwide than aircraft crashes. The difference is you will never hear about the annual toll of humans killed by donkeys. When an aircraft crashes, no matter how small, it gets page one.

Anatomy of a Crash

The modern aircraft is an incredibly complex machine. Even the smallest single-engine, four-person, propeller-driven trainer is a package of gears, gauges, pistons, hydraulic lines and electric cables. Although redundancies exist, sometimes the failure of one system can quickly lead to the failure of the whole.

Mechanical failure is one of the main causes of an air crash. This means the plane went down because part or parts of it compromised its ability to fly, land or take off safely. Everything from a worn out part finally failing to an instrument that fed the pilot wrong information could qualify as mechanical failure.

The other main reason is pilot error. This is simply the pilot making a mistake that led to the crash. Unfortunately, this mistake is often fatal for the pilot, his or her crew and the plane’s passengers. Any airplane accident attorney will tell you this is where so many complexities crop up.

The Blame Game

The aftermath of every crash, especially for the more tragic ones, is the inevitable investigation. A team of specialists comb over the wreckage, maintenance records and crew files looking to pin down the cause of the crash. Airplane accident attorneys start looking at who is responsible.

Depending on how bad the crash is, investigations could take a few days at best, and years at worst. Recovering the so-called “black boxes” that record in-flight data are usually a big boon, so are eyewitness accounts. Survivors are invaluable because they were actually there prior to the crash.

Aviation accident attorneys say this is where things become a bit muddy. The airline and/or the aircraft manufacturer will try to pin blame on anything and anyone other than them. Dead passengers are bad business for an airline, while a tragic air crash puts a manufacturer’s entire output into question.

Meanwhile, the family of the pilots and crew will also try to remove or reduce blame put upon them. Especially if the pilot is a veteran, their families would do everything to keep the names of their loved ones from getting tainted.

Survivors and the kin of victims face a complex tangle of laws and procedures finding the underlying cause of what led to the crash. When the cause has been determined, it is still a question of whether you would be satisfied with it or not, and what to do if it is the latter. Then there is the litigation for just compensation.

This is where an experienced airplane accident attorney can be of much help. They know the laws involving such incidents and they have access to specialists who can evaluate the evidence and even give expert testimony.

Even then, it could be a long, hard road to justice and just compensation. Yet if you stay the course and heed the advice of your aviation accident attorney, you might see a happy landing for the case of those denied that by fate or negligence.

Get a Discount on EVERY United Flight Your Company Purchases

United Airlines is offering a fantastic new program that is designed to benefit the mid-sized business with a travel budget of under $ 1 million. What makes this program unique is not only that it is aimed at the lower end of the market, but that it is so simple to implement and provides a discount off of every airfare your company purchases on United, as well as several partner airlines, including Lufthansa and Air Canada.

The importance of the discount off of the lowest coach class fares can not be overstated. Even Fortune 500 companies which have high-end corporate agreements with United do not get a discount on the cheapest coach class seats.

The overview details are these: United will discount your airfare by 2% across the board for all of your corporate volume on United in exchange for a revenue commitment to United of $ 150,000 per year in airfare. Your company will have to provide reports that indicate your can give United the revenue that they are asking for, but this is easily done, and this financial information can come from your agency partner (s) or internally. The initial contract agreement is for two years, which is also a nice feature, as many corporate agreements with major airlines are one year rolling programs. So this gives you the opportunity to lock in savings for a longer period of time. Additionally, the fares will generally have to come through your booking with an agency partner as United's reps will not have access to your contract, and there will be no way to include this discount on United's corporate online or on some of the larger online travel bookings sites you may have worked with or are currently using. In addition to the 2% discount, your company will also receive some additional flexibility in the form of a "service fund" that can come in handy when your organization needs a "favor" from the airline in the future. These funds can be applied to exchange fees, missed ticketing deadlines, etc.

If you are currently working with an agency, and your company fits in to the criteria outlined above, you should certainly inquire about this program. It is the best opportunity I've seen for savings with a major carrier in recent years. Your agency should have information on the program, and their United representative can take it from there.

I wish you the best of luck in taking advantage of what I feel is a truly unique offering in the airline industry. Let's hope that other airlines follow United's lead in bringing value to loyal corporate clients.

Faster Than A Plane

Are airlines rated by growing rail networks?

Even though links are improving, there are faster times and increased frequency, the journey between London and Cologne is still likely to be seen in five years as a plane trip, rather than train. But on how many relatively short journeys in north-western Europe, roughly bounded by London, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt, can airlines feel absolutely safe from the challenge of rail? As the high-speed train network expanss and trains get faster and more frequent, how many routes will become, if not train-only, at least train-dominated? The process has already started and is likely to increase at a rapid pace. The short-haul map of Europe is likely to look very different in 2010.

High-speed trains have been operating in Europe for more than a generation. France is where rail has had the largest impact on air services and Paris to Lyons was the first air service to suffer from the arrival of the TGV. The route between Paris and Brussels by the high-speed Thalys train then ended the air route between the two capitals. Planes could not compete with the 90-minute train journey. Air France now books a large number of seats on the train for its travelers using Charles de Gaulle Airport, where the train calls.

Other flight services that have been affected are between Frankfurt and Cologne and direct flights between Frankfurt and Stuttgart, routes where, like Air France, Lufthansa uses the German high-speed train service, ICE, to carry its passengers. The Paris to Cologne service also goes via Amsterdam Schiphol.

Another route that will have drastic change will be the Milan to Rome. This journey time will be cut from the current laborious four and a half hours to a surprising two and a half.

In 2007 the Brussels to Amsterdam stretch of the Thalys service will become high speed. The whole route from Paris to Amsterdam going via Brussels will then take only two hours. This is regarded as the classic time when train journey becomes more viable than flying. The flight takes one hour fifteen minutes, but as the train will stop at CDG and Schiphol, it is likely to be more attractive both in terms of convenience and time spent getting to and from the airport.

Rail tracks between Paris and Frankfurt are being improved at the moment to be able to accommodate a high speed service, which should enable this journey to be taken in under three hours. This would then start a shift towards rail travel instead of flying. But the largest change of all will occur when the last stretch of the UK sector is upgraded to high-speed, resulting in train journeys from London to Paris and Brussels will, respectively, take two hours and ten minutes and one hour and fifty five minutes .

Seventy percent of the market on journeys between London and Paris and sixty two percent of the London to Brussels route are already taken by Eurostar which operates on the Channel Tunnel link.

Although the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthere being no more flights between London and Paris or London and Brussels seems rather far fetched, the reality of there becoming fewer seems closer to reality.

The History of Eastern Airlines

Once considered one of the “big four” US carriers, along with American, Delta, and United, it had been innovative and highly successful, having evolved into the world’s second-largest airline during its six-decade history.

Tracing its origins to Pitcairn Aviation, which had been formed on September 15, 1927, it had inaugurated airmail service the following year between Brunswick, New Jersey, and Atlanta with open-cockpit PA-5 Mailwings.

But North American Aviation, a holding company for several fledgling carriers and aircraft manufacturers, purchased the company a year after that, and, changing its name to Eastern Air Transport, inaugurated passenger service with Ford 4-AT Trimotors on the multi-sector hop from Newark to Washington via Camden, Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond on August 18, 1930. Acquisition of the Curtiss Condor enabled it to extend the route to Atlanta.

After absorbing Ludington Air Lines three years later, it was able to incorporate a New York-Philadelphia-Washington triplet to its system.

Eastern’s growth, like that of many other carriers, was jumpstarted by the Air Mail Act of 1934, which entailed the awarding of government contracts to private companies to transport the mail, while the US Postal Service selected them based upon the bid they submitted in competition with others. Although this prompted the formation of upstart companies to operate the airmail routes in the hopes of being chosen, it equally required the separation of the then-common aircraft manufacturer-and-carrier co-ownership.

Circumventing the restriction imposed upon it as a result of its Spoils Conference involvement with General Postmaster Walter Folger Brown, Eastern Air Transport changed its name in 1934 to the one by which it would be known throughout its history, Eastern Air Lines.

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace who won the Congressional Medal of Honor, purchased the carrier from the North American Aviation holding for $800.,000 and took over the helm, implementing an aircraft modernization program.

Building its soon-famous Great Silver Fleet, he quickly replaced the slow Curtiss Condor biplanes with all-metal Douglas DC-2s, one of which became the first to land at the new Washington National Airport in 1941. Leaving its imprint on an expanding East Coast network, Eastern plied the New York-Miami sector with wider-cabin, 21-pasenger DC-3s in 1937.

Like many US airlines, whose growth was interrupted by the necessity World War II imposed on it and the requisition of its aircraft for military purposes, Eastern commenced its own military support flights in 1942, connecting the three states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas, spreading its wings to Trinidad in the Caribbean, and ultimately forming its Miami-based Military Transport Division, for which it acquired Curtiss C-46 Commandos.

The seed to its pioneer, tri-city northeast shuttle was planted two years later when the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) awarded it the New York-Boston route over American.

The technological advancements of the 1950s, expressed as range, payload, speed, comfort, and safety increases, occurred so rapidly that, by the time an aircraft was produced, its replacement was already on the drawing board.

The quad-engine DC-4 soon supplemented its 39 twin-engine DC-3s, and its network now encompassed Detroit, St. Louis, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Lockheed L-649 Constellation, inaugurated into service in 1947, yielded to the higher-capacity L-1049 Super Constellation, which plied its signature New York-Miami route as of December 17, 1951. The Martin 4-0-4s replaced the DC-3s and by the middle of the decade, the first DC-7Bs sported Eastern’s livery.

Acquisition of Colonial Airlines gave it access to New York State, New England, Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico City.

The propjet took the form of the four-engine Lockheed L-188 Electra, which was inaugurated into service on January 12, 1959 between New York and Miami, and the pure-jet in the form of the four-engine Douglas DC-8 only a year later, soon supplemented by the smaller-capacity, but higher cruise speed Boeing 720.

Eastern was the first of the big four US carriers to operate the 727-100 tri-jet “Whisperliner”-specifically on the Philadelphia-Washington-Miami run-and the twin-jet DC-9-10.

The famous hourly New York-Boston-Washington air shuttle was launched on April 30, 1961 with the L-188 Electra, for which it advised, “No need to make a reservation. Just ‘show and go.’ All sections are with backup planes standing by to assure a seat for everybody waiting at scheduled departure time.”

One-way weekday fares were $69.00 to Boston and $42.00 to Washington, while the round-trip weekend prices were $55.00 for adults and $37.00 for children to both.

The shuttle was eventually operated by DC-9-30, 727-200, and A-300 aircraft.

Breaking its hitherto East Coast shackles at the end of the 1960s, it expanded to Seattle and Los Angeles on the West Coast, to Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas with its acquisition of Mackey Airways, and to several Caribbean islands after purchasing Caribair.

Passing the torch to another famous aerospace personality, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker relinquished control to Colonel Frank Borman, who had orbited the earth in Gemini VII in 1966 and the moon in Apollo VIII two years later.

Eastern entered the widebody era with the Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar in 1972, became the first US carrier to operate the European Airbus Industrie A-300 in 1978 when it ordered 23, and was the launch customer for the Boeing 757-200.

After acquiring Braniff International’s Latin American routes in 1982 and establishing a hub in San Juan, it became the world’s second-largest carrier in terms of annual passengers after Aeroflot, establishing hubs in New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, and San Juan and toting its “We have to earn our wings everyday” slogan.

But, while it may have earned its wings, it did not necessarily earn the profits to support their lift. Debt from aircraft purchases needed for its expansion and labor disputes necessitated the $615 million purchase by Texas Air Holdings, which also owned Continental, in 1986, and Eastern became a carcass of fodder. Airplanes were sold. Employees were laid off. Assets were transferred to Continental. And its image rapidly deteriorated, especially when it virtually eliminated in-flight service to reduce costs.

Declaring bankruptcy in 1989 and ceasing operations two years later, on January 19, the one-time “wings of man” became the Icarus of deregulation after a six-decade flight.