Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum

June 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Operating as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving aviation history, the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum (DVHAA) is located in Horsham, PA. Volunteers work all year round to support aircraft restoration, run the museum, gift shop and library, and plan events and fund-raising projects, as well as to keep membership services and administration up-to-date.

In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, a group of naval officers, prompted by Lieutenant Commander David Ascher, retrieved some axis and allied aircraft from a scrap yard and went to work on reassembling and restoring these abandoned war-birds. The display of restored aircraft, alongside US Route 611 in Horsham, Pennsylvania, was referred to as the Ascher Collection and was the beginning of what is now the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum, maintained by the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association (DVHAA).

The DVHAA restoration team restores and performs maintenance on the organization’s historic aircraft, as well as those on loan from the US Air Force and US Navy. The most recent restorations by the team were to a Sikorsky UH-34D Seabat and Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever, with current restoration projects including a Republic F-84F Thunderjet and Chance Vought F8U-1 Crusader. As one of only five remaining aircraft of its kind in the world, the Chance-Bought F7U Cutlass is one of the DVHAA restoration team’s future projects.

Exhibits at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum include fourteen aircraft and almost forty display cases, categorized as: World War One; the Pitcairn Era; World War II; the Tuskegee Airmen; the Cold War; Southeast Asia; Korea; Women in Aviation; Contemporary Aviation and Space Exploration. Visitors to the museum can view more than two hundred hand-crafted scale models, along with an increasing collection of memorabilia related to aviation. Some of the highlights of the museum are a large collection of aviation patches, videos and photographs; full-sized mannequin dressed in vintage aviation flight-gear; flight simulators; F-8 Crusader instrument panel; Aim 4 Falcon air to air missile; Aim 9 Sidewinder air to air missile; air to ground rocket and shells; and a J:65 Jet Engine.

Entrance to the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum is free, with donations gladly accepted. Hours are Wednesday to Friday 10h30-15h00, and Saturday and Sunday 10h00-16h00. School and group tours should be arranged in advance. Through the efforts of dedicated aviation enthusiasts, the Wings of Freedom Museum provides visitors with a fascinating look at aviation history.

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