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Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum


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After 11 years of living in the area and 5 years of really being a military enthusiast, I finally visited the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum located at:


1155 Easton Road

Horsham, PA 19044


Phone - 215-672-2277


The museum is located on the Willow Grove Naval Air Base and is part of the Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Society.


The Museum was started in 2000 however the airbase itself has been around since 1926. The airbase, previously called Pitcairn Field, was originally a hangar and grass airstrip constructed by Harold Pitcairn. Harold Pitcairn used the site to construct and test a number of aircraft, most notably the Autogyro and Mailwing. Amelia Earhart visited the field in the early 30’s and set a world’s altitude record for the Autgyro, which still stands to this day, for flying Pitcairn’s Autgyro at 18,415 feet.


In 1942, shortly after the US entered into WWII, Pitcairn sold the airfield and hangar to the US Navy. The field was commissioned the United States Naval Air Station in 1943.


Sadly, activities at the airbase have been winding down for a few years now and it will close officially on September, 15th 2011. PAANG will take possession of a portion of the base thereafter and the majority of the land will be turned over to Horsham Township for redevelopment.


Despite the closure of the airbase, the museum will remain intact and onsite to preserve the history of this base and those who served here. There is no fee to visit as they operate on donations alone. The tour guides are all US veterans. We toured the museum without a guide, but on occasion, one of the vets would come up and add a little bit of information. The vets spanned from WWII to Vietnam, and it was nice as they would include a bit of their experience if the display was relevant to their service.


If you're ever in the area, I would highly recommend visiting. The museum isn't big by any standard; however they have managed to fit tons of history into it, both living and not.


More information on the airbase and the museum can be found at the following links:



Wings of Freedom Museum


Willow Grove Naval Airbase



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Patent prototype of the Pitcairn Autogyro. The autogyro was not a commercial success however eventually Igor Sikorski purchased the patent and used them to develop the first helicopter.


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