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Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum

20 July 2015

40° 12′ 07″ N / 75° 08′ 23″ W

Pitcairn Mailwing at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Pitcairn Mailwing (with photographic effect) at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum collage — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum collage — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

The Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum is a brief drive from Philadelphia and a pleasure to visit. What is not to like about a building with state-of-the-art architecture and Convair Sea Dart? There is so much more to experience with so many aircraft displayed on the perfectly kept grass grounds, displays within the building (including a Pitcairn Mailwing) and dozens of superb models constructed by Joe Smith (his work is professional in caliber). Posts reflecting aircraft in the museum will be published over the near term future.

Souix in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Bell H-13 Souix in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum with sketch photo effect — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

The museum has two primary foci:

  • Harold Pitcairn and his work with aircraft, autogiros and aviation manufacture in the area
  • Aircraft of the U.S. Navy which is especially fitting as the museum property adjoins a navy air base

Restroom facilities are available as is a large covered picnic area though take care to plan as the museum hours are somewhat restricted. Docents are informed and motivated though one advised they begin clearing the museum of visitors 45 minutes prior to closing (the museum is open 4–5½ hours depending on open days so check their website for the hours)—meaning a gentle reminder will be given to late arrivals leaving plenty of time to complete the visit. An hour or two is enough time for most to enjoy the museum’s offerings at an unhurried pace while the grassed grounds and picnic area invite longer stays as well as opportunity for children to burn off calories. Our thanks to the museum’s editor for clarifications and corrections.

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum with Pitciarn Mailwing (L) and Lockeed TV-1 Shooting Star (R) — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum with Pitcairn Mailwing (L) and Lockheed TV-1 Shooting Star (R) — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

US Navy Lockheed TV-1 Shooting Star in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

US Navy Lockheed TV-1 Shooting Star in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum nose art detail — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum nose art detail — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Fokker D.VII replica in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Fokker D.VII replica in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum partial exterior grounds showing (L-R) Grumman C-1 Trader, North American FJ-1 Fury and Grumman F9F Panther — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Pitcairn Mailwing in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

Pitcairn Mailwing in the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Museum — Travel for Aircraft: Joseph May

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Lurch permalink
    20 July 2015 13:03

    Mr. May,

    I have enjoyed your posts for quite sometime. My job involves travel, so I fit in as much airplane eyeball time as possible.

    When I visited this museum during a slightly long lunch break back in 2008, They had a badly deteriorating F7U outside near the Sea Dart. They also had a very nice two place me-262 inside.

    The folks I met at that time were very friendly actually seemed to enjoy sharing their knowledge. I hope they shared some of the history of what went on there at Willow Grove NAS right after WWII.

    I do get a kick out of seeing sites on your website and saying to myself “Hey, I’ve been there!”

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      21 July 2015 01:51

      Thanks 🙂 The museum is a very good one and run well. The aircraft on display are all in good shape now and there are plenty of them.

  2. 787cape permalink
    20 July 2015 17:27

    I grew up nearby and fondly remember driving by and seeing their great collection of WWII German and Japanese aircraft, sadly sitting outside in the weather. I was last there about 10 years ago and remember being excited that they had been able to construct a building and move the Me 262 indoors. Too bad they no longer have that airplane, or many of the Japanese collection.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      21 July 2015 01:50

      The folks running and supporting the museum have upped their game considerably, you’ll be glad to hear. There website graciously tells the fates of the aircraft no longer there. The Me 262 was restored and is now in the National Naval Aviation Museum.

  3. Douglas Deaville editor, WoF Museum permalink
    21 July 2015 00:03

    Your posting of July 20/15 about the Harold F. Pitcairn Museum
    contains some misinformation. We advise late arriving visitors we will be closing in 45 minutes–we do not start “clearing them out”. Further, the museum is open 5 1/2 hours, not 4, on weekends, and 5 hours Tuesday to Friday.
    Vist our website, http://www.wingsoffreedommuseum.org/

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      21 July 2015 01:47

      My apologies for the incorrectly stated hours — I can fix that. You have an excellent website and I have that URL in the blog. Sorry you take umbrage to the phrase “clearing them out” but that was close to what I heard from the docent and the four or five other docents did not correct him–and I am obliged to report what I experienced. I also had not arrived late so I was perplexed by the felt need for that statement, as well. A small matter, the docents were all welcoming as well as informative.

      I’ll amend the copy in the blog to reflect your welcome corrections and state the museum’s policy is to politely advise visitors there will be an announcement 45 minutes prior to closing for those arriving near closing time.

      Thanks again for your help and I should have things straightened out by the end of Tuesday.

  4. Cheryl permalink
    21 July 2015 06:18

    We just had group tour at the museum, and the Chief Docent did an excellent job. I actual felt everyone in the group learned something about aviation.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      21 July 2015 07:01

      The museum is a very good one as well as enjoyable. The docents are warm and informative, as well, I agree 🙂

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