What: 

“Become a Pilot” family day and aviation display, including Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) and a Civil War-era balloon

When: 

Saturday, June 16, 2012 – 10:00am3:00pm

Where: 

National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Parkway
Chantilly, Va.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum presents the 2012 “Become a Pilot” family day and aviation display Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. For the eighth annual “Become a Pilot” day, 50 vintage, recreational, military and home-built aircraft will fly in and be displayed outside the center’s Boeing Aviation Hangar.

In celebration of the centennial of U.S. Marine Corps aviation there will be several USMC speakers, and aircraft from the Marines are scheduled to participate, including a Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight from the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), which is a USMC helicopter squadron responsible for the transportation of the U.S. President.

Guest speaker presentations and performances:

  • 10:30 a.m.: Dave Hugel, USMC photographer—Photos from Vietnam
  • 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Mary Ann Jung will bring to life aviator Amelia Earhart
  • 12:30 p.m.: Gary Powers Jr. and author Chris Pocock—Discuss the Cold War and the U-2 Spyplane
  • 2:15 p.m.: USMC Aviator’s Panel Discussion—Art Sifuentes, retired USMC helicopter pilot; Paul Pond, USMC pilot; Vince Balderrama, USMC helicopter pilot

The day’s programs will also include an inflated Civil War balloon; re-enactors portraying Thaddeus Lowe, President Lincoln and Union soldiers; presentations about the Union Balloon Corps and espionage during the Civil War; and hands-on educational activities inside the museum. The 19,000-cubic-foot, netted gas balloon will be partially inflated with a “cold air blower.” It was built in 1941 and is very similar in operation and size to the balloons used by Lowe.

Interested media RSVP to larai@si.edu or mcnallyf@si.edu.

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SI-286-2012


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