Cradle of Aviation Museum Celebrates Flight and Aerospace
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Andrew Parton, Executive Director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, who shares Long Island's significant contribution to the fields of flight and space exploration.
"We're pleased to welcome Andrew Parton, Executive Director of Cradle of Aviation Museum based in Long Island where? Garden City, or East Garden City, Uniondale area. What's the Long Island connection to all this? Basically if you go back, we're not the birthplace of aviation, it's where aviation kind of grew up, and a lot of it was the topography of Long Island is flat and windy. If you go back a hundred years... and the biggest thing was we were close to the prize money, which was Manhattan. Most of the early aviators were big daredevils, and they basically migrated to Long Island for the prize money. And so that's where we became kind of that cradle. You know, when I was getting ready for the show, I kept seeing the Charles Lindbergh connection to all this. Make it clear. Well Lindbergh took off from what was Roosevelt Field which sat next to Mitchel field which is where the museum is based, you had that the commercial airport and the military airport side-by-side so Lindbergh, again... By the way, what are we looking at right there? We are looking at the first airplane that Charles Lindbergh ever owned, this is before the Spirit of St. Louis. What? Before? Before the Spirit of St. Louis. You guys have it? We have it. It was a World War I surplus. He bought it for a couple hundred dollars and he was a barnstormer in the Midwest, which meant... Tell people what that means. Well he flew around a small town, would kind of buzz the town, land in the middle of a field, and then he'd charge you a couple of dollars to go take a flight. That's what Lindbergh did? That's what Lindbergh did. Before Lindbergh became Lindbergh? Before he became Lindbergh, and he migrated to Long Island because, again, that's where the prize money was, it was to be the first to do things. Wow. First to fly across the country, first to fly the Atlantic, and Lindbergh was able to be the first to actually do it. A number of others tried, but you never hear about them. You know, everyone knows about Lindbergh, but they don't know about... is it Harriet Quinby? Harriet Quimby. Who was that? She was the first female licensed pilot in the United States, she was an actress by trade, but also was a bit of an attention seeker, so she came to Long Island, learned to fly an airplane, got her license, and was the first woman to fly the English Channel. And her big hope was that this was going to rocket her into stardom beyond the stage. Unfortunately, the day she crossed the English Channel was the..."