The central place for Chet’s aviation career was the College Park airport, where events such as Langley Day (which Chet moved from Washington Hoover in 1933) and other events took place. Although College Park Airport remains an active airport–the oldest continuing airport in the United States–it is also the home of the College Park Aviation Museum, and on a recent visit we took a look at what it had to offer. This is just a sampling of what’s there.
The entrance to the College Park Aviation Museum.
An historical sign which outlines the history of the College Park Airport.
A Monocoupe 110. In some ways the Monocoupe was the single most successful plane for Chet’s Langley Day competitions, as a perusal of the winners will show.
The Washington Air Derby trophy, which was actually first prepared for the first competition at Washington Hoover in 1932. Note that George Brinkerhoff, whose flying service at College Park was famous, moved his operation from Washington Hoover, as Chet would do with the Washington Air Derby in 1933.
A plan for College Park’s hangars. These were built during World War I and were pretty much all of the buildings the airport had during Chet’s day. They were useful for the Langley Day competitions and, er, the Quiet Birdmen parties.
The west end of College Park airport. At one time there was a runway which more or less paralleled the B&O railroad, but it is gone. That railroad is still active but now also includes Washington’s Metro.
Although the airport made a very nice wide angle poster of this, they did not know that it comes from the 1939 Langley Day competition: we have other photos of the Goodyear blimp there.
The eastern part of the airport, now the main part and the location of both the Museum and the terminal. The rise behind the runway appears often in Chet’s photos and films of College Park, the scene of so many of his triumphs.