Upcoming Events

  • 5 1 17 - Museum opens for the 2017 season
  • 5 20 17 - 2nd Annual Spirit Gala and Fundraiser
  • 5 21 17 - 13th Annual Cole and Rita Palen Memorial Free-Flight Meet
  • 5 27 17 - Annual Safety briefing for volunteers and staff
  • 6 3 17 - Mid-Hudson RC Annual Spring Fun-Fly
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9 Norton Rd., Red Hook, NY 12571 (Driving Address)
PO Box 229, Rhinebeck, NY 12572 (Mailing Address)

Telephone: 845-752-3200
Fax: 845-758-6481

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The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Announces: History Through Reading July 11-July 15, 2016


The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is proud to announce History through Reading, a summer program for fifth and sixth grade youngsters to visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and experience the early years of aviation through reading, aircraft presentations and fun. Participants will have the opportunity to read about an historical figure from the early years of aviation and see, up close, an aircraft, or artifact related to the person from the Aerodrome’s collection.

Subjects will include the Wright Brothers and feature the Aerodrome’s Wright Flyer and Model EX reproductions, Louis Bleriot and the Bleriot models XI and XI “Cross Country,” both original aircraft. Also, the Aerodrome’s recently completed Spirit of St. Louis will supplement the reading of a Lindbergh biography, while Bessie Coleman will highlight a presentation on the Curtiss JN4-H “Jenny.” Amelia Earhart will be featured in biography and participants will visit and learn from a scale model in the History of Flight building. The program will wrap-up on Friday July, 15th with a presentation of a certificate of completion and, weather permitting, a barbeque.

To further enhance the learning experience, a scavenger hunt and fact finding mission will challenge the children to further investigate the Aerodrome’s expansive holdings.

Program Information
Dates: July 11- 15
Time: 10:15am-12:00n
Place: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, History of Flight Museum
Cost: $100 per participant. Seating is limited. Please register your child early. Payment must be remitted with registration form. Click here for the registration form.
Program Leader: Shayne Esposito
Registration: Registration forms are available on the Aerodrome website, or by contacting
Carol Harklerode at (845)752-3200, or email to carol@oldrhinebeck.org.

Program Itinerary
Monday 7/11-10:15 am-12n

• Who Were the Wright Brothers?
• Presentation on Chanute Glider, Wright Flyer and Model EX reproductions-Pioneer Quonset
• 12:15 pm pick-up

Tuesday 7/12-10:15 am-12n
• The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909
• Presentation on Bleriot XI and Bleriot XI “Cross Country”-Pioneer Hangar, History of Flight Museum
• 12:15 pm pick-up

Wednesday 7/13-10:15am-12n
• Charles Lindbergh a Graphic Biography
• Presentation on Spirit of St. Louis- Ryan Hangar, Field
• 12:15 pm pick-up

Thursday 7/14-10:30am-12n
• Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman
• Presentation of Curtiss JN4-H “Jenny”-Black Cat Hangar, Field Hangar, Shop Courtyard
• 12:15 pickup

Friday 7/15-10:15 am-12n
• Who Was Amelia Earhart?
• Presentation of Lockheed Electra 10F Model- History of Flight Museum
• Scavenger Hunt
• Presentation of Certificates of Completion
• Program barbeque-Food Tent, Main Courtyard

Don’t miss out! Seating is limited to 15 participants, so register now to reserve a spot for this exciting and educational opportunity at The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

See You in July!

Bill Gordon


Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is saddened to report that longtime Aerodrome pilot Bill Gordon, 56, passed away late Friday, May 27th 2016. He was flying a vintage 1942 P-47 Thunderbolt WWII fighter when he was forced to ditch in the Hudson River. Bill was predeceased by his wife Susan who was also a volunteer at the Aerodrome. Bill served as the Aerodrome’s Chief Pilot, Chief Mechanic and later as our resident Aerobatic Competency Evaluator. He had flown nearly every aircraft in the collection including the Albatros, D.VII, DR-I Triplane, Camel, Great Lakes, Fleet, AVRO 504K and Caudron G3 to name a few. He also served as our primary rides pilot for several years and backup rides pilot more recently. Bill restored many of the aircraft in the collection including the Fokker D.VII, Stampe, New Standard D-25 and Camel.

Bill was a superb pilot with numerous ratings who was totally enamored with flying and loved each and every new challenge. Aerobatics was one of his many strengths. He would often fly rides in the New Standard starting at 10 am, until showtime, then fly four to six airshow acts and fly more biplane rides until dark. He loved any animal he set his eyes on, was kind and generous, and immensely patriotic. I remember him returning from lunch one time with a hamburger he bought “to go”, all for my dog Oreo who was at the Aerodrome shop with me that day.

Early on he and Bill Segalla of the Iron Eagles would bring their Christian Eagle biplanes to the Aerodrome and land there to say hi to Cole. This was no small feat in itself considering the bumpy and relatively short runway at Old Rhinebeck. Aircraft owners and wingwalkers all over the country knew Bill’s abilities and would call on him to fly their aircraft because of the immense trust and respect they had for him. Bill over the years has generously donated many aerobatic performances in his 450hp Super Stearman for our RC Jamboree weekends, Wounded Warrior weekends and Veterans weekends. He was an unforgettable person, amazing aviator and mentor to many of our young pilots and mechanics. He will be missed by many.

The Aerodrome wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to the family of Bill Gordon. His children, siblings, mother and loved ones are all in our thoughts during this difficult time.

Blue Skies and Tailwinds Bill……

Old Rhinebeck to Celebrate The Life of Bill King on May 28th


On Saturday May 28, 2016, the King family will host a memorial service at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome for Bill King. The service will be held on the airfield, under the picnic tent. The gathering will commence at 2:00 PM with a memorial fly-over beginning at 2:30 PM. Friends, family and the public are all invited. Please check in at the airfield ticket booth when you arrive.

Longtime Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome stalwart Bill King passed away on February 5th. Bill was at various times an ORA pilot, mechanic, volunteer, board member, cheerleader, and mentor. First coming to the Aerodrome in 1962, Bill has had a longer continuous influence at ORA than any other individual in the history of the organization. In the overall greater sphere of involvement, inclusion of his late brother Richard (Dick), his sons David and Andrew, and his nieces and nephews Lori, Robin, Matt and Geoff (all regulars at ORA) cements the King family as the most important group of individuals to have ever participated at ORA , save for perhaps Cole & Rita Palen themselves.

Bill first came to ORA on the advice of his brother Dick, and in the resulting years became a steady contributor to the museum and airshows, being a regular pilot in his personally owned DeHavilland Tiger Moth, as well as the museum’s Hanriot, Curtiss Jenny, Curtiss Fledgling, Albatros and many others.

Bill was active at the Aerodrome right up until his final days, attending airshows with his beloved wife Jane, watching David fly his Moth, helping to critique the acts and participating in briefings and debriefings as a coach and mentor to the current pilot corps, staff and volunteers. Over the winter Bill was able to visit and observe the museum’s long awaited Spirit of St. Louis on one of its early flight tests.

He was always a gentleman, patient to a fault, often a conciliator and represented the best of what might be termed, “the Aerodrome spirit.” We all will miss him dearly and extend our sincerest condolences to the King family.
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

A Memorial Service will be held at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in the History of Flight building on Saturday, May 28th, 2016. It will be a public gathering.

In addition to the public memorial service on Saturday, the Aerodrome’s first airshow of 2016, on June 11th, will be dedicated to the memory and held in honor of Bill King.

The following obituary was published on February 6th (http://hannemannfuneralhome.com/book-of-memories/2374135/King-William/obituary.php):

William E. King, 86, of Valley Cottage, NY, died peacefully on February 5th at home after a long illness. Bill was born in Herkimer, NY on Easter Sunday in March 1929, the oldest of the six children of William T. and Evelyn Davis King. He could tell countless tales about growing up in a small town during the tough times of the Depression. After graduating from Herkimer High School in 1947, where he was a 3-letter athlete, he worked as a car mechanic for the Cadillac Oldsmobile dealer and was active in the NY National Guard both as a weekend warrior and a fulltime mechanic before he started college at SUNY Oswego in 1955. Upon graduation he took a position teaching industrial arts and technical drawing in the Tarrytown, NY school system, a job he loved, where he stayed for the next 30 years. In 1969-70 he and his family spent a year in Bolton, England, where he was a Fullbright Exchange teacher.

He was an active radio control modeller for many years, and was a founding member of the Rockland County Radio Control Club, competed in many meets, and appeared on the cover of Model Airplane News with one of his plane in 1967. In the early sixties he became involved with Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, a flying museum of antique airplanes. He got his mechanic’s license and his pilot’s license, and was active there for 50 years until 2015 on the ground and in the air, flying his own 1944 Tiger Moth among other vintage planes. He also owned a series of slightly more modern airplanes, which he and his wife enjoyed flying over the Hudson River Valley and in Vermont.

In 1959 he married Jane Wilson and had three children. He is survived by his wife, his son David T. King and wife Sheila of Red Hook, NY, son Andrew D. King and his companion of many years, Julie Appleby, of Vienna, Virginia. His daughter, Alice O. King predeceased him. His sons both are active flyers in the antique airplane field; his daughter raced motorcycles. They did not fall far from the tree.

His brothers Richard and Theodore and a sister, Esther, predeceased him. He is survived by his sisters, Delores Swiger of Herkimer, NY and Mary Hart of Nashville, Tennessee, many in-laws and three generations of nieces and nephews. And many, many wonderful friends.

Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum To Celebrate 89th Anniversary Of Lindbergh’s Historic Transatlantic Flight With Public Debut Flight Of Authentic Reproduction And Gala Saturday – May 21, 2016

Photo: David Trost

Photo: David Trost

The Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum’s “Spirit of the Aerodrome Gala” is approaching, and there have been several developments concerning the program for the day and evening. May 21, marks the 89th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s history-making flight across the Atlantic. The flight forever changed the way mankind viewed air travel as a practical means of transportation, and will be celebrated in a big way at The Rhinebeck Aerodrome. The event will center around the Aerodrome’s recently completed and news-making Spirit of St. Louis. This is an exact copy of Lindbergh’s aircraft, and its public debut flight is scheduled for 5:30pm. Two of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s grandchildren will be present to witness the flight and will speak at the evening gala. The Spirit aircraft project was twenty years in the making, with ups and downs in between. This event has been anticipated by Aerodrome fans for all of these many years, and will be a historic moment for the Aerodrome itself, as well as a tribute to late Aerodrome founder, Cole Palen. Palen always wanted to have a flying example of this aircraft in his weekend air shows at Rhinebeck.

Daytime events will be open to the public for special event admission. Highlights of the day will include flight demonstrations of the Aerodrome’s fleet of vintage aircraft, and biplane rides in a 1929 New Standard aircraft will also be available. There will be guided tours of the museum and docents will show and discuss some of the Aerodrome’s current restoration efforts. Several vehicles from the Aerodrome collection that had been out of service for a few years are now back in running order and will be seen in operation all day.

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Museum Opens For The Season, Advance Air Show Tickets Now On Sale

Aerodrome airshow season starts june 11

Advance air show tickets are now on sale at Rhinebeck Bank until June 15, 2016. Adult air show tickets will be on sale at the Red Hook and Rhinebeck locations for $20.00, which is a savings of $5.00 off the door price. Tickets will be valid for one air show performance during the 2016 season. Limited supply of advance tickets available, act quickly to secure yours now. Air shows will take place every Saturday and Sunday from June 11 through October 9 (weather permitting). Tickets can also be used on special event weekends such as Vintage Tractor weekend (July 9 & 10); British Car Day (July 16); Pietenpol Fly-in weekend (August 27 & 28); 50th anniversary of the Mid-Hudson R/C Jamboree model meet (September 10 & 11); and Pumpkin bombing & fall festival weekends (Oct 1 & 2 and Oct.8 & 9).

The Aerodrome will be adding its recently completed Spirit of St. Louis reproduction to the flight-line this season, and a newly built gift shop will be ready for opening day of air shows.

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a not-for-profit 501 © 3 organization specializing in early aviation. The museum and grounds boast some of the rarest authentic and replica planes from the early 1900’s through the late 1930’s. The Museum and grounds are now open daily from 10am to 5pm until October 23. During the air shows snacks and drinks are available on the grounds. Memberships are also available and are a great way to support the Aerodrome.

For Rhinebeck Bank Branch locations click here.

Announcement From Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome,

It is with deepest regret that we announce that Reeve Lindbergh will be unable to attend the “Spirit of the Aerodrome” gala and fundraising event on the twenty first of May, 2016. Earlier this week Ms. Lindbergh sent her regrets and warm wishes for a successful fundraising event citing a medical crisis involving her husband Nat. In her stead, Kristina Lindbergh and Lars Lindbergh will appear to share thoughts and reflections regarding their grandfather, Charles, and will discuss what the Spirit meant to him. Reeve looks forward to a possible visit to Old Rhinebeck in the future. We apologize for any inconvenience and ask that you join us in sending Reeve and the entire Lindbergh family our heartfelt prayers and best wishes for Nat’s complete recovery.

Stewart Sommerville
Chairman, ORA Spirit Unveiling Committee

Bill King Memorial Service: May 28th


The King Family is hosting a memorial service for Bill King at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome on May 28, 2016 starting at 2:30pm. We will celebrate the life of our friend, tell stories, and share memories. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be aircraft flying in commemoration, culminating in a missing man formation. Please consider joining us as we remember this wonderful man and great friend of the Aerodrome.

Join Us For The Spirit’s First Flight!

Please see our Evening Gala invitation below.

Details on the entire day’s events at


Evening Gala Tickets:

Additional evening gala ticket info at the bottom and online.

Aerodrome Invitation Final - single page

Come See History Take Flight in the Skies Over Old Rhinebeck!

Saturday, May ​21, 2016​​​

The Aerodrome will open at 10am, Spirit First Flight is scheduled for 5:30pm, Evening Gala Event commences immediately after.

​To purchase Evening Gala Tickets

you may purchase online:


Call 845.752.3200 ~ Email carol@oldrhinebeck.org


Send checks along with the attached RSVP card to:

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

PO Box 229

Rhinebeck NY 12572

For full details, visit www.spiritoftheaerodrome.com​

Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, “Spirit Of The Aerodrome Gala” Event Developments

Aerodrome Spirit of St Louis photo T. Polapink 1

Planning for the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum’s SPIRIT OF THE AERODROME GALA is moving ahead rapidly and it will be the most elaborate event that the Aerodrome has ever undertaken to kick off an airshow season. The Gala will be centered around the Aerodrome’s recently completed and thoroughly accurate reproduction of Charles Lindbergh’s famed Spirit of St. Louis, which will celebrate its public debut with a demonstration flight and a 1920s themed fundraising cocktail party at the Aerodrome. This event will take place on the 89th anniversary of Lindbergh’s epic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.

The Aerodrome’s Spirit of St. Louis reproduction made international headlines last December when it became the subject of an Associated Press article and video after its successful test flight. The project had been worked on over a period of twenty years, and it became the first aircraft reproduction to be started and completed at Old Rhinebeck since Aerodrome founder, Cole Palen passed away in 1993. Ken Cassens, Palen’s friend and longtime Aerodrome mechanic and pilot, headed up the project and duplicated every part of the original aircraft as accurately as possible, with assistance from the National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C. The original had no forward visibility and neither does the reproduction, which makes it challenging to fly. A chase plane, a Curtiss Robin of the same vintage, will be used when the aircraft is demonstrated in flight to help ensure that the coast is clear.

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Stanley Segalla


It is with great sadness that Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome mourns the passing of Stanley Segalla, ORA’s original “Flying Farmer”. A fixture at the Aerodrome since its inception, Stanley could always be found on Sundays hamming it up in the crowd, before yet again managing to get away in the Piper Cub and wowing the spectators. His character “One-Shot Gatling” was popular throughout the airshow’s early heydays, piloting the AVRO 504K in support of Sir Percy in the everlasting saga that played itself out every weekend in the skies over Rhinebeck.

A pilot’s pilot, Stan elevated everyone around him with his experience and skill at the controls of anything he flew. He loved to give rides before and after the shows to any takers, often putting them through a full routine in his Cub or Decathlon, always a smile on the passenger’s face when he brought them back to the flight line. With a boisterous laugh and a sharp wit, Stan was always the life of any gathering or conversation. His antics within the crowd before launching each Sunday are legendary, interacting with the young and old, weaving a tale and telling jokes…all while carrying his pet “varmint” and generally creating and relishing the chaos that ensued.

Stanley’s passing marks the true end of an era. He is the last of the Aerodrome’s original pilot cadre to go west. He signed on with Cole Palen and joined this merry band at the very beginning, helping to mold and create the museum, airshow, and total experience that we know today as the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. We here at ORA in 2016 look back to Stanley and that original group for inspiration and influence…always.

Click the link below to view additional photos.

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