Niagara Gazette

November 15, 2013

Niagara Aerospace Museum offers a glimpse of history

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

— The Niagara Aerospace Museum has a new piece of local aviation history to share with the community.

Museum supporters on Friday celebrated the arrival of a new exhibit - a rare, signed print of Charles Lindbergh, the American aviator who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. 

The print is on loan to the museum by Buffalo resident Bridget Corcoran, who acquired it from her godmother, Anne McIlhenny Matthews, who was a major in the Women's Army Corp. and the first female chief public relations officer in U.S. Army history. McIlhenny Matthews served overseas during World War II and the Korean War and later became a columnist for the Buffalo Courier Express. She was married to Burrows Matthews, former editor of the Courier. 

Corcoran contacted state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, in an effort to work out the loan arrangement that will allow museum visitors to enjoy the rare Lindbergh piece. 

It is one of many unique artifacts currently on display at the museum's newest location, the old Niagara Falls Airport terminal near the intersection of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Williams Road. Under an arrangement with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the Aerospace Museum has set up shop inside the terminal building and is now open to the public. 

In addition to the Lindbergh print, the museum inside the former passenger terminal offers several exhibits and pieces tied to the history of aircraft development in Western New York, including the Bell X-22, one of the last pieces of research aircraft developed in Wheatfield for the U.S. Navy.

The Aerospace Museum, located at 9900 Porter Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. Group tours are available by appointment. Admission prices are: Adults, $8; seniors, $6; active military, $4; students w/ID, $4 and children 5 to 15, $3. For more information, contact the museum at 297-1323.