Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) joined the staff and invited guests at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale as they welcomed a swing wing F-111 supersonic bomber to the museum. Senator Fuschillo was instrumental in securing state funding for the transportation of the fighter from Texas to its new home on Long Island.
The plane was hoisted from a flatbed truck by volunteers of the Operating Engineers of Long Island and will be reassembled as a salute to the thousands of Long Island veterans who served during the Vietnam conflict. The 30,000 pound twin engine, two seat bomber was state-of-the-art when it was introduced by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the late 1960’s. Originally designed for the Cold War, the low-altitude, high-speed aircraft was utilized in the Vietnam conflict, Libya and in the Persian Gulf War.
One of the largest "medium" strategic bombers in the nation’s Air Force inventory, its arrival as a tribute to Vietnam veterans is due to the cooperative efforts of the Air Force Museum, the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport and Senator Fuschillo. Senator Fuschillo was granted the title of honorary operating engineer by union leader William Duffy and sat in the cockpit of the crane to assist with the moving of the aircraft prior to wing reassembly and display.
"This aircraft will serve as a great tribute to the brave men and women who served during the Vietnam conflict. The best part of it is that at fifteen tons, this is a memorial that will not be easily missed by those who visit the museum," stated Senator Fuschillo. "An impressive aircraft that serves to remember impressive service to our country."
The American Airpower Museum is located at Republic Airport at 1230 New Highway in Farmingdale. Republic Airport operates a squadron of World War II aircraft that range from a rare Republic P-47 Thunderbolt to a C-47 D-Day paratrooper transport that offers flight experiences to museum members. Visiting aircraft add to the museum experience with patrons often finding B-17’s, B-24’s and other aircraft landing for inspection.
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