RECENT Rediscovery of pen/ink artwork of City View ! (2/7/2013)
BURNELLI CBY-3 Loadmaster Restoration is underway! (11/8/12) story below
Beacon Field Airport® Historic Site threatened by Dog Park (on-going) click here
Latest Update: 05/16/2013: 12:01 AM EST FAVORITE iPhone/iPad app: LiveATC
May 15-21, 1938 -- NATIONAL AIR MAIL WEEK "Honoring First Flight Beacon Field" . CLICK Pic for more Cachets
Beacon Field Airport® -- Quick Facts
Beacon Field Airport® was located on Historic Route 1 in the Groveton section of Fairfax County, Virginia, 3.6 miles north of Mount Vernon. The airfield operated from the 1920's and Beacon Field Airport received a license in 1932. Recreational flying, US Mail, military training, post World War II and Korean War GI Bill pilot training, Fixed Based Operator (FBO) and commercial aviation activities, and the motel City View Mansion and Cottages hospitality business, were conducted at Beacon Field until the airport closed in 1959. Beacon Field is now the site of modern day Lenclair Park, Target (old Memco), Beacon retail shops (Giant, Lowes, et al), Beacon Hill Apartments, and City View III (fondly known as Muddy Manor). On August 19, 2009, the Beacon Field Airport Fairfax County Historic Marker was dedicated in commemoration of aviation pioneer Orville Wright's birthday also known as NATIONAL AVIATION DAY. This holiday was established in 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Proclamation.
The Fairfax County Historic Marker is the highest recognition awarded by the Fairfax County History Commission (visit FC website for more markers/info). Previously in July 2007, Beacon Field Airport at City View site was approved and added to the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites in Lee District ! ! As a result the service road on the land tract was renamed Beacon Field Airport Highway in October 2007. This nomination was prepared and presented to the Fairfax County History Commission by W.F.P. Reid Sr.'s oldest grandson, Harry P. Lehman.
This nonprofit website strives to educate and offer a venue for the preservation of the history of Beacon Field, one of the nation's earliest private airports which embodied the genius of America. Friends of Beacon Field Airport conduct activities pro bono. We are not affiliated with any civic associations, political parties, or special interest groups. We are eager to hear your experiences at Beacon and welcome additional photographs and documentation in support of this effort. VISIT the links at above left, Contact us !and stay in touch with the latest event below and read about the past events!
Click for more information on Hybla Valley Airport !!
Beacon Field Events
Links to Friends of BEACON FIELD AIRPORT media and print efforts:
May 6, 2013 -- Friends of Beacon Field Airport at an informal presentation to the Dr. Elisha Dick Chapter of the DAR on Beacon Field and Hybla Valley Airports.
A Few MAY Flowers of City View
May 15, 2013 -- Three young white tailed bucks visiting the LINK TRAINER building on this fine May morning !!
In Memoriam -- 27 April 2013
Peter Q. Nyce, Jr.
Mr. Peter Q. Nyce, Jr. trained in an Aeronca out of Beacon Field in the mid 1950's on several "hot and humid days". He graduated from American University Law School and had a lengthy career in government law. He was most proud of his grassy 1900' foot runway near the Wicomico River in Maryland. (photo courtesy J. Emrico)
Mr. Peter Q. Nyce, Jr.
ETERNAL LIFE for a BEACON BIRD !!!
Beacon Field November 1959-- Burnelli CBY-3 (N17N)
Historic Beacon Field Airport -- November 8, 2012
The famous one of a kindBurnelli Loadmaster CBY-3 (N17N) that was rebuilt on Beacon Field by Mr. Paul Zimmer and Mr. Junie Marshall is being restored !!
The New England Air Museum of Windsor Locks, CT, contacted us about their acquisition of the CBY-3 that is in “rough condition but structurally ok”. A team of highly skilled volunteers are setting forth a multi year restoration plan for the aircraft that will become a permanent display in their fine museum. Paste this link in your browser to visit the NEAMrestoration hangar:
The workmanship quality on the museum’s recently finished F-104C Starfighter project is amazing and can be seen on their website. NEAM restorer, Harry Newman, said “the F-104C was a complete wreck after being caught up in a tornado and left outside for 30 years”.
The restoration of the Burnelli CBY-3 is the second time that this very unique bird has been rebuilt. This was the last and most sophisticated lifting air vehicle designed and built by Vincent Burnelli to carry passengers and freight. Often Burnelli’s designs were referred to as flying wings because the fuselage is used as the lifting body. However, flying wings do not have tails.
After World War II, the surplus of cheap DC-3s and C-46s made marketing the Loadmaster impossible and ownership remained in private hands. In the mid 1950’s, eyewitness accounts (who should have been paying attention to the teacher in the old Mount Vernon High School on Route 1) remember leaping to the windows to see the fuselage and the wing on two different trucks loudly laboring north to Beacon Field.
Collectible JELL-O Hostess Promotional item (CLICK PIC for more info)
Reverse side with CBY-3 propeller config and JELL-O Hostess logo
The presence of the Burnelli on Beacon Field always generated much interest and publicity due to the international attention afforded from commercial activities in Northern Canada (CF-BEL-X), Venezula, and other parts of South America. Paul Zimmer’s maintenance shop took on the arduous task of rebuilding this basket case. Junie Marshall spent countless hours rebuilding the 85 foot wing to airworthiness in Zimmer’s hangar (see Salute).
When Beacon Field Airport closed October 1, 1959, the unfinished Burnelli remained until completion. In early December, Paul Zimmer began doing taxi test runs on the long runway, one of which resulted in the aircraft lifting off: “I just hauled back a little to see how she felt and it was in the air before I knew it. I decided I was already up there so I might as well go on”. Indeed he did and flew to Friendship Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, to the new owner Ballard Aircraft Corporation who had plans for mass production. The dream was never fulfilled and the aircraft ended its flying days. (see photo below)
The NEAM plans include the display of CBY-3 historic photos and memorabilia from the Beacon Flying Days !!
December 12, 1959-- Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster on tarmac at Friendship Airport, Baltimore, MD, direct from Beacon Field Airport restoration. Ballard Aircraft Corp representative standing at rear. Photo by Joe DiPaola, Jr (The Sunpapers)