History of the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport

Some sixty five years ago, the current home of the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport was a crucial part of the “Arsenal of Democracy”. Home to Republic Aviation, the complex produced over 9,000 P-47 Thunderbolts in Farmingdale.

The “Jug”, as it was called because of its robust assembly line construction, went on to defeat the best fighter pilots the German Luftwaffe could muster.

Today, no American aviation museum with a squadron of operational World War II aircrafts has a more appropriate setting for its flight operations. Taxing to the very runways and hangars that dispatched Thunderbolts to war, vintage aircrafts recreate those turbulent years and allow the public to watch these planes in their natural environment – the air.

This exciting effort to keep our history alive is made possible through state grants, corporate underwriting, personal philanthropy and gifts from people like you.

Also, critical to the establishment of this museum was the cooperation of the airport’s fix based operator, SheltAir and the Republic Airport management team. We are grateful to our benefactors, and to you, for your admission fee. Your dollars help meet museum costs including utilities, aircraft maintenance, building repair, and exhibit construction. While thousands of hours have been donated, the dollars requested from you are tax deductible and are put to immediate use to ensure your family’s experience at the Museum is memorable.

The museum is able to operate because of the role of its volunteer corps. Individuals who share our enthusiasm for keeping alive the colors of our American military heritage are invited to contact us directly so that they can join this group of diverse people with a common objective.

AAM Mission Statement

The museum’s strategic mission is the preservation of the legacy of all Americans who have sacrificed themselves to defend our liberties and to educate a new generation regarding the courage, valor and heroism of our nation’s citizen soldiers by presenting the operational aircraft and armor in the museum’s collection and its related displays, exhibits and programs.

AAM Visitor Testimonials

Leave a Testimonial of your experience at AAM and share your insights with others below!

  •  Thomas Hardgrove

    Our family visited the American Air Power Museum in Farmingdale on Saturday Nov.24th. We wanted to thank Newsday for their support of such a great place. The exhibits, aircraft and volunteers were spectacular. Preserving these pieces of history and educating people about the role they played in America’s past is incredibly important. A special thank you to our enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide, Antonio. He really made the experience one to remember. The kids and the adults all had a great time and will be back!

    – Thomas Hardgrove, Son of a WWII veteran

  • Diane P. Akunevicz


    I visited your museum with my 4 year old son and my father the Friday before Memorial Day. My son just loved being able to climb inside the cockpits in the hangar and he had such a great time. I wanted to know if you ever do group tours that might be appropriate for 5 year olds. I’m always looking for unique ideas for celebrating his birthday.

    Thank you and you have a wonderful museum.


    Diane P. Akunevicz

  • Joseph Cunningham

    Dear American Airpower Museum

    I assume it was you that sent me the copy of Flightline which I received today. I do thank you for thinking of me to send me a copy. I don’t know if you will believe me, but I can still remember the day you phoned me and asked me if I had submitted an essay for the Stop & Shop Flight of Aces for the year 2000. I told you I did not as I did not see any notice in the local newspapers that there was to be a contest for the year 2000. And, I can still remember the next few words you said, which I don’t think I will ever forget and they were, “What A Bummer” and then you said you have on your desk before you the essays I submitted for the year 1998 and 1999. I think after that you said was I sitting down. You then said guess what the Flight of Aces had selected my essay as the winner for the year 2000.

    I can still remember that day well, what a day it was for me and what a flight it was as well. You really made my day and I owe it all to you. I can’t thank you enough. I hope all is well with you, I gather you must be at Republic a great deal of the time. You really know how to run an event. The Flight of Aces and my award of the French Jubilee of Liberty Medal at Republic Airport and the American Airpower Museum is certainly a tribute to you as to what can be expected at an event you undertake.

    I hope you are well and all is well with you and I hope to hear from you again. I do thank you very much for everything you did.

    I was invited by the Navy and Northrop Grumman at Avondale Industries at New Orleans, LA to attend the christening of the USS New York LPD 21 on this past March 1, 2008, however, I had to decline as my wife has Alzheimers Disease and she is not well enough to make the trip to New Orleans and I would not leave her alone, so I had to decline as much as I wanted to attend. I have been invited by the Navy and Northrop Grumman to attend the commissioning of the New York in New York City whenever it takes place in 2009. I have every intention to be there if I am still around. I have now reached 87 years of age, but I expect to be there and that is not too far for my wife to make the trip.

    Again, I say thank you (to the American Airpower Museum) for everything, you have helped to make my life somewhat better. I do thank you. Good luck to you.

    ~ Joseph Cunningham

  • Edward Page


    I have just viewed your website for the first time and am so impressed with your efforts to foster and maintain interest in our military aviation history. I look forward to flying to FRG and going to the museum soon.

    Good luck going forward,

    ~ Edward Page

  • M.Kumano

    I and my child have visited your museum on July 26. I am a old Japanese and my son is a German/Japanese. We were interested (with deep impression) for showpieces and records and movies very much. If I will have a chance to go to U.S.A,

    I want to come again,
    ~ M.Kumano

  • Kevin, Fairfield, CT

    We were in awe at the wonderful displays and beautiful historic aircraft and memorabilia, and honestly, I had always known that Long Island has a long proud history in aviation, but I had no idea at the mass extent of it, we were truly impressed and will surely plan on another trip very soon.

    Thank you for keeping the memories alive of all those who have sacrificed for us all in defence of our country, as well as for sharing your love for aviation with us. Your dedication to this museum and aviation is truly impressive.

    Thanks again and we’ll see you soon!
    ~ Kevin, Fairfield, CT

  • Andrea. S, FLC Northeast Man

    Hi Larry and Jacky,

    Thank you for hosting our event on Tuesday, September 16th, everyone had a wonderful time! The museum was very interesting and such a wonderful place for a casual reception. I received many compliments from our attendees about the venue and the volunteers that lead our tour. Everyone was so friendly, inviting and knowledgeable!

    Again, thank you so much and I will be sure to keep the American Airpower Museum in mind for future events!

    Warm Regards,
    ~ Andrea. S, FLC Northeast Management Support Office

  • Bruce and Laura Seebach

    To all staff:

    My wife and I were totally “blown away” by everyone’s efforts today. A true salute to all who ever served for our country! And all those P51 mustangs! ( Chris was spectacular with those low hi-speed passes)!

    Congratulations to all,
    ~ Bruce and Laura Seebach

  • Thomas A. Hallock, New York,

    I took my flt this past Saturday, and just want to say it was a great experience. I could not imagine how the paratroopers felt going over the channel that night. You guys and the other people at the museum are doing a great job. I’ve never met a more friendly and helpful bunch of people. It’s a pleasure every time I visit the museum. Keep up the good work. We can not afford to let what happened back then be forgotten and the sacrifices made by so many. Thank you again for an experience of a lifetime.

    ~ Thomas A. Hallock, New York, NY

  • Ed Shanahan

    My dad worked at republic in the 50’s and my son is going for his BSA Aviation badge. We are looking foward to bridging the generations and from what I hear, this museum should do the trick.

    ~ Ed Shanahan, Bethpage, New York

  • Bill Holler

    I attended your museum this past Monday and was very impressed with the numbers of aircraft, history and weaponry. My tour guide, a WW2 and Korean vet was very knowledgeable and admirable, it was clear that he loved what he was doing. He was a little slow getting around and repeated himself a few times but I didn’t care because I respect what he and his generation did for us. I will be back.

    ~ Bill Holler, Lynbrook, New York

  • Donnie Bonaventure

    I am 12 years old and have been going to Republic since I was about 4 years old. I love planes and want to be a pilot when I get older. I enjoy seeing all the planes fly here. It is very exciting when they fly. I will continue to go here and want to fly for the museum.

    ~ Donnie Bonaventure, Melville, New York

  • Cliff Jeffery

    Can’t wait to go with my wife and two boys, ages 7 & 8. Their late Grandfather (my Dad) would have really enjoyed showing them around here, being that he fought for our country in the U.S. Navy during WWII. I am so proud to be able to show my son’s what it means to be free in our country and why, when all I have to show them are these magnificent Aircraft. We love the P 51 Mustang and the P 47 Thunderbolt. See you all Labor Day Weekend 2009.

    ~ Cliff Jeffery, East Northport, New York

  • Matthew Pereira

    I visited the museum on Sept 4th. I was impressed that there is a place like this. It is a reminder of what can be done by this country. A time when failure was not an option. Thank you for reminding me why I joined the navy so many years ago and what true Americans are capable of.

    ~ Matthew Pereira, Patchogue, New York

  • Honey Fulton-Parker

    I would like to say that I really enjoyed the WASP Dedication Program which was held this past Sunday. A lot of work went into it and it was nicely done. It was most enjoyable for me to see once again some WASP’s I had met several years ago, but also a fun experience to meet some that I have never met before.

    Thank you for presenting me with the certificate which honored my oldest sister Dorothy Johanna Fulton – WAFS/WASP for her historic and heroic contribution in serving our Country. This certificate is deeply appreciated by me. I am giving two speeches at the Englewood, New Jersey Library on November 10, 2009 (2:00pm & 7:30pm) and this award will be noted in the write-up on the Program.

    ~ Honey Fulton-Parker, WIMSA Regional Field Representative

  • Gerry Scheil

    Part of AAM came to West Milford NJ on September 26th and 27th to participate in the 1st Air Show at the Greenwood Lake Airport. Your Corsair, B-25, C-47 and TBF Avenger provided such a presence to the show. What an experience it was to see and hear these classics come into “my” airport prior to the show and then to sit back and enjoy their participation in the show with fly-bys. If that wasn’t enough, my daughter and I had the priviledge of meeting and speaking with Dan Dameo and Little John. They took the time to answer our questions and provide a personal aspect to the show. They are indeed a credit to the AAM. Thanks Dan and Lit tle John and thanks to the AAM for coming to the air show.

    ~ Gerry Scheil, West Milford, New Jersey

  • Dawn Macke

    My son age 4 and I have visited the airport museum a few times, it’s amazing and even at a young age Justin loves the planes. He is begging for his birthday party to be there this Feb. He is a future pilot believe already and he will be 5!

    ~ Dawn Macke, E. Northport, New York

  • Greg Bennett

    As a long time visitor to the American Air Power Museum, I am grateful to the operators and volunteers who preserve and restore the aircraft,many built on Long Island, that our yound men and women have flown during war and peace. Your Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP’s) display along with the Tusekeegee Airmen display are just outstanding. One of your volunteers gave me a personal tour of the Douglas C47 Skytrain. And I’m always grateful to our Defense Plant Workers especially our Rose The Riveters who served the Arsenal of Democracy. I enjoy speaking to the volunteer who herself and two sisters were defense workers. That day I spoke to vi sitors who came from Rumania to see the Museum. Thank you so much for maintaining the atmosphere of the WW2 plants,the homefront and air bases. I felt like I was back at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge where I served USAF. Keep Em Flying. The AAM is Second To None !

    ~ Greg Bennett, Hicksville, New York

  • Ben Papa Jr

    I first visited the American AirPower Museum in 2009 during a class trip. I was truly touched by the sights, sounds, and testimonials of the men who served our country during World War II. I was especially honored to meet Bob Blickley, who served on “The” USS Enterprise. Bob took the time to personally show me his plane and shared with me his stories of that sacred time in our nation’s history. I am grateful to Bob and all of the men of the American AirPower Museum, for not only their service, but their taking the time to share their memories. As my grandfather served in the European Theater, I know the true sacrifice such men endur ed. I am grateful to them all and God bless America and our veterans!

    ~ Ben Papa Jr, Yonkers, New York

  • Michael Piner

    I first saw your B-25 when I flew into Mobile airport after Hurricane Frederic, 1978 (I think). I saw the plane as we approached for landing. I talked to the owner a day later as he was finishing repairs. He allowed me to go onboard and sit in the Left seat. Said it was General Arnold’s command Plane. This was quite an honor for me.

    ~ Michael Piner, Wilmington, North Carolina

  • Jay Beckerman

    Dear American Airpower Museum,

    This morning my wife and I, along with two friends, had the fortunate opportunity to visit your Museum. I say fortunate because we were met by your volunteer, Charles Thomson, who took us on a tour of the facility such as we had never anticipated. We had expectd to wander about the facility by ourselves for perhaps no more than an hour or so. But Mr. Thomson took us in hand for a detailed tour and explanation of your exhibits which kept us fascinated for more than two hours. Mr. Thomson could not have been more gracious and informative. Only the necessity for our guests to leave in order to pick up their grandchildren from school prevented us from remaining longer to enjoy more of Mr. Thomson’s stories and descriptions. As a youngster during WW2 I was so fascinated by the exploits of the 8thAAF that I spe nt a great deal of time keeping a scrapbook of their exploits. For me, it was all very romantic. I didn’t fully comprehend the danger these brave young men faced every day. Years later, after eight years of service with the 105th Fighter-Bomber Wing, starting with the Korean War, the activities of our War Birds still fires my imagination. Just to be in the presence of these might machines was absolutely thrilling. Mr. Thomson seemed to have a story or a ready explanation for everything that caught my interest. His description of the Japanese submarine that housed a jet propulsion ramp for three aircraft hidden within its superstucture was something I learned about for the first time thanks to him I was thrilled to spend time with Mr. Thomson, who appears to have made great srides in his battle to overcome a recent stroke. Please wish him well for me and tell him what a wonderful experience he provided for us. You are lucky to have him. Keep up the fine work you are doing. I hope to return often in the future.

    ~ Jay Beckerman, Hauppauge, New York

  • Ryan Lubbe

    I really like your museum. I go every memorial day weekend. I go with my dad. My favorite plane is th p-51 and B-17.

    ~ Ryan Lubbe, Centereach, New York

  • Christian Gregory

    I am from the milton L. Olive middle school and i have to say that i had alot of fun when i went there. once i was there on july fourth of 2008 with my grandma and i saw the blue angels.

    ~ Christian Gregory, Wyandanch, New York

  • Sherri & John Blum

    Please give my best to Larry and let him know that John is still talking about how great April 2 was. Guenther was truly a gift and Larry, Jim the pilot and all the guys that were helping out were the best. You are all a great group of people and John and I are very grateful that there are such devoted and dedicated people who love this country and the preservation of our past. Keeping all of these things alive is a gift we civilians get to enjoy because if it weren’t for you folks, a big part of America’s history would fall by the wayside, and that would be such a sad thing.

    ~ Sherri & John Blum

  • John & Tyler Napoli

    Just to let you know my son and I visit the museum on Friday June,27th. We had a wonderful time. He is only five years old but i think it is very important to make him understand how luckey we are to be american. And what it took to make this cuntry great. While we were there we were in the cockpit of one of the exibits and one of the staff was shooting pictures of us. I was wondering how i could get copys of those pictures. Once again let me thank you for a wonderful time.

    ~ John & Tyler Napoli

  • Joseph Stubel

    Thank you for the wonderful day we had with my father, John Stubel, WW2 vet and B-29 maintainence crew chief, at the B-29 ceremony on May 26, 2011 He enjoyed it very much We cannot do enough to honor these heroes who helped keep our freedom intact Special thanks to Gary Lewi whoi invited us to the ceremony and did so much to make us comfortable and a successful day.

    ~ Joseph Stubel

  • Steven Frascatore

    On July 30th 2011 I took my first ride in the T-6T Texan. It was a father’s day gift from my wife and 8 year old daughter. This had to be the experience of a lifetime. We arrived at the museum about 9:45 was welcomed in by the staff and made to feel so comfortable. Jim the pilot had approached us and told us to have fun walking the museum while they got the plane ready to go. After about 10 minutes we were all set. We took some great photos with the family before the flight. Even got my daughter up on the wing, she was so excited. The problem is now she wants to go for a ride. After the photos we were all ready to go. Just the feeling of Clim bing into the cockpit and Strapping on the parachute was like going back in time. The sounds and smells of the engine were amazing. Sounded like firecrackers when it started. I have a video of the whole ride that I have watched so many times already. If you like rollercoaster’s this will be the best ride you have ever taken. We went into a dive then pulled the nose up and then rolled over. Seeing the world upside down was amazing. Jim I want to thank you for a dream come true I Have your number and I will be calling soon to go again. This time I will be getting a flight for my father. See you all soon and thank you for a great day.


    ~ Steven Frascatore, Wantagh, New York

  • Larry Kleinschmidt

    On Oct. 2, 2011 Nikki and I had the privilege of a guided tour of your museum by Guenter Bier. Guenter led us through the museum explaining all the exhibits, but there was much more! Guenter shared with us his life experiences as a child growing up in Hitler’s wartime Germany, and his escape to the west from Russian-occupied Germany after the war. Guenter is truely one of the finest treasures you have in your museum. He gave us the gift of an extraordinary day filled with not only a wealth of information, but also with inspiring stories of WWII airmen and of his life, that will remain with us forever. We wish him the very best, and we wi ll be back again and again.


    ~ Larry Kleinschmidt, Sunderland, Massachusetts

  • The Turner Family

    Our family visited the American Air Power Museum in Farmingdale on Saturday Nov.24th. We wanted to thank Newsday for their support of such a great place. The exhibits, aircraft and volunteers were spectacular. Preserving these pieces of history and educating people about the role they played in America’s past is incredibly important. A special thank you to our enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide, Antonio. He really made the experience one to remember. The kids and the adults all had a great time and will be back!


    ~ The Turner Family – Exeter, NH

  • Hot rod ray

    I had the pleasure of spending time with my dad who flew 25 Bombing missions in the Army Air Corp as a Tech SGT he retired a SGT Major and was a proud Veteren .I remember how he would light up when he entered your Museum.What a wonderful experience it was as my dad recounted his experience flying with his battle Group trying to explain Maximum effort an what that meaning was.His emotions went wild.Looking at the displays I witness frost hand the look of a Truro Veteren it was like when a person visits a cemetery.He was torn as to how he felt.He was saying names that committed altamit sacrifice for our freedom.He had that thousand mile steer.It meant so much for him to visit an we did many times and our experience was so enjoyable.my dad is gone now as so many of our Greatest generation.I was able to some extent relive my dad’s experience.He Loved the Air Force which he continued as a NCO SGT Major Retired.He always said I fought the Germans,Japs, Koreans,Vietnamese,And your Mother.He was for sure a proud Veteran. I thank the American Airpower Museum for your mission to provide this wonderful Museum I will be stopping in today April17th to discuss a Fundraising Idea.

  • The Zdenek Family

    I just had to contact you regarding our visit to your museum this past Friday. While my family and I were strolling around, one of your volunteers – Mike C. – approached us and asked if we would like a guided tour. What an amazing time we had thanks to his wealth of knowledge and especially because of the heartwarming stories he shared with us about his father’s WWII experiences. My children (as well as my husband and myself) walked away with a new-found respect for those in the military who served us during WWII and those that serve today. Thank you for an unforgettable experience and please extend our gratitude to Mike. He is a wonderful asset to your museum.

  • We had a great time during last Saturday’s visit at the AAM. Our daughter enjoyed and had fun around museum and the history it presents. We would like to thank the staff for the warm welcome and help they offered. We would like to thank Steve for being such a patient and dedicated guide during the tour outside the hangar and with the planes. We are hoping and would be planning to visit the museum again in the future. More power to AAM and Godspeed to you all.

  • David K.

    I was a volunteer between 2005 and 2008, and then I went off to college. I had great memories of the people there and their dedication. I was able to get involved in really neat restorations, and be out near these airplanes on the ramp. I felt so important, and I’m happy your still running well! have a great weekend!!

  • James L Jr.


    I wanted to thank you for the D-day experience at the American Air Museum yesterday. I saw you Jacky but I was quickly corralled into the canteen for my briefing and could not find you after the flight. It was truly a memorable memorial day experience for my wife and I. There are some many heroes to remember from that era. Also climbing aboard the B-17 similar to the one that my father flew 28 missions in and imagining what he must have endured, remakable!

    I hope to get my children and grandchildren out to your museum in the near future so the memories are never lost. Thank you again.

    James L Jr.

  • Kate B.

    My friend & I partook in the C-47 Flight Experience during Memorial Day Weekend. The crew and re-enactors who gave us the briefing and took us up were amazing. Their knowledge of what happened on D-Day and how the crew felt was incredibly moving. Not only was the crew top-notch, the view from the plane was breath taking. We’d never seen Long Island from that view; we couldn’t stop taking pictures of it.
    After the flight we explored the museum and we’re shown around by a bright, sweet volunteer named Peter. His knowledge of both sides of the war gave us a better understanding of what the world seemed to be going through. After spending time with Peter, we explored the interactive exhibits and had a ball! We felt like little kids all over again. The American Airpower Museum is a place for anyone who wants to see and experience the passion of America in flight!

  • David Eckert

    I recently made my first visit to the American Airpower Museum during their “Legends of Airpower” event and I was not disappointed. The museum’s has a wonderful collection of WWII aircraft and this event allows visitors to see them up close as well in the air.

    What made our visit so great was the staff. The people truly the heart of any organization and this museum proves. Even though the flight line was very busy, none of the staff lost their cool or felt the need to bark orders to visitors who might be wondering in an area they shouldn’t be. Instead they gently guided back to a safe area. In addition, they were eager to answer your questions and offer up bits of trivia about the aircraft.

    The aircraft on display are top-notch! The P-40 Warhawk and P-47D Thunderbolt are on any warbird fan’s must-see list. They also have the 4th B-25 Mitchell bomber to roll off the assembly line. This particular B-25 was converted during WWII to be the personal transport for Gen. Hap Arnold. And there is more but you owe it to yourself to make a visit to see the other aircraft.

    Don’t expect perfectly shiny hanger floors or a fancy carpeted foyer. But that is not what makes this place special and really, who cares? This actually adds to the ambiance and makes the place seem more “real”. In addition to the great staff and amazing aircraft there are some wonderful exhibits in the hanger as well. And the gift shop offers many unique items not found in your average museum’s gift shop.

    And definitely, do not pass up the opportunity to participate in the “D-Day Experience”. This a unique way to immerse yourself in WWII history. Not only do you get to ride in the museum’s C-47 aircraft but you also get outfitted in an authentic WWII paratrooper uniform as well as the pre and post mission briefings. The flight itself takes you over the beautiful Long Island coast line and it alone is a bargain as far as warbird rides go.

    And no, I do not work for the museum or anyone associated with it. I just had a wonderful experience on my first visit. Of course it will definitely not be my last visit.

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