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Plum Island Airport Historic Contributions to Aviation

Plum Island Aerodrome

Plum Island Airport, Newburyport MA
Image by Ethan Cohen of UAV Look

The Historic Plum Island Airport

Do you know about the impressive history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury? Many advances in aviation occurred on Plum Island. The first flying field in New England was built on Plum Island. The original runway over the sand dunes and marshes was made of wood! The Burgess Company built over one hundred different types of airplanes at Plum Island Airport until the end of World War I.  The founder of the Burgess Company built planes for the Wright Brothers and is recognized for his contributions to aviation.

Nowadays, the runway is asphalt, not wood! The Plum Island Airport offers several services to the flying community including flight instruction, aircraft fueling station, parking tiedowns and more. Glider rides and scenic flights are available to the general public throughout the year. The Airport is also used for public services including emergency medical evacuations and Coast Guard rescue operations.

The airport is a not-for-profit organization. Volunteers are responsible for a great deal of the work at the airport. The goal of the organization is to make sure the historic nature of the Plum Island Airport is preserved and to inform the public about the history of the airport. The airport also hosts a number of community services, such as tours, for groups such as schools, youth groups, and community organizations.

There are two museums located at the Plum Island Airport. The Burgess Aviation Museum highlights the history of the Plum Island Airport and is open year-round for self-guided tours.  The Working Museum showcases restored classic airplanes and current restoration work. Visiting the Plum Island Airport and the Museums is free to the public.  See the website for more information about the Working Museum and aircraft renovation workshops. Be sure to schedule group tours and historian led tours in advance!

Plum Island Airport is a great place for plane lovers to stop and watch planes take off and land. Frequently, Metzy’s Taqueria Truck is parked at the airport and folks can enjoy delicious and authentic Mexican food while enjoying the views.

Learn more about the fascinating history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury by visiting their website!

Plum Island Airport

24 Plum Island Turnpike
Newbury, MA 01951

Airport Operations Tours/Working Museum: 508-269-4941

Burgess Museum: 978-270-6744

Flight Instruction: 781-325-2135

 

Directions:

From I-95 take exit 57 MA-113 W Newbury/Newburyport. Follow-113 East/ Storey Ave continuing on to High Street/Rt 1A. Turn left at Rolfes Lane/ Ocean Ave. Turn right at the end of Ocean Ave on to Plum Island Turnpike. The airport will be on the right.

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