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May 2017 Program


Niagara Falls International Airport • Niagara Falls Blvd. at Williams Road
Hosted By: Hugh Neeson and Judy (Brown) Kirkwood
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM

The society’s May program gave us an opportunity to experience 100 years of the rich aviation and aerospace heritage of Western New York. On display, reminding us that this is the centennial year of our entrance into WWI, is the Curtis JN-4D Jenny Bi-plane credited with training 90% of the allied pilots. Among the other historical exhibits, we will also got to see the Curtis P40 which set a speed record in 1942 of 661 mph, the Bell Airacobra P-39 that was part of the WWII lend lease program to the Soviet Air Force, Larry Bell’s personal helicopter, as well as the Apollo Lunar Ascent Engine and the famous Bell Rocket Belt.

Providing their combined expertise were Hugh Neeson and Judy (Brown) Kirkwood). Hugh is the Development Director of the Niagara Aerospace Museum and serves on the Museum’s Board of Trustees. He worked at Bell Aerospace for 45 years and was Vice President and General Manager of Bell when Lockheed- Martin purchased the company. He became Director of Lockheed-Martin Federal Systems’ Niagara operation until he retired in 1999. Judy is an HSOT member who worked for Bell Aerospace for 28 years and for Lockheed- Martin for two years. She was a Secretary and/or Administrative Assistant for the entire time and served as Hugh Neeson’s secretary at Bell for a time before he retired. When the Museum needed volunteers, Hugh requested that both Judy and her husband Howard (39 years at Bell) come in to help. Howard is now retired but Judy is still at the Museum.

This is a wonderful and educational facility with inter-active displays, personal artifacts, simulators, and a fascinating collection of aircraft along with a library, gift shop and restoration facility. Totally handicapped accessible and an easy ride down River Road. Turn right on Williams and stay to the far right as you prepare to cross Niagara Falls Blvd. into the Niagara Falls International Airport. Proceed around the circle to the left; signs are posted. Park directly in front of the building on the road under the Air Traffic Control Tower, NOT in the parking lot. You may use both sides of the road if needed.

Official Home:  The Historical Society of the Tonawandas, Inc.
Museum and General Office:  113 Main Street, Tonawanda, NY, 14150-2129
(716) 694-7406     Email  tonahist@gmail.com
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