2006-03-24 / Columnists

Historical Views

of the Rockaways Remembering An Old Celebration Of The 1919 Transatlantic Flight Of The Famous NC-4
From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

of the Rockaways
Remembering An Old Celebration Of The 1919 Transatlantic Flight Of The Famous NC-4

From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

In case we have any model airplane builders left in the Rockaways, the Paul Quillow Model Company has had a PBY-4 Catalina Seaplane model available for some time now.

It is not a plastic model, but the tried and true balsa wood stick model covered with model airplane tissue, and a sheet of balsa hull bottom. Gun turrets, engine cowlings, and cockpits are of molded plastic.

The model can be painted and marked as Navy or Coast Guard, with any appropriate color used by each service, but yours truly chose to remember the PBY Catalina that flew up from Pensacola, Florida in May of 1986 to honor the 75th Anniversary of Naval Aviation and the first flight across by this arm of the U.S. Naval Service in 1919.

The Northwest Quadrant of the present Riis Park was the site of the old Rockaway Naval Air Station (RNAS or NSR) from 1917 to 1931. The station came back in 1941 at Floyd Bennett Field during World War II.

The Coast Guard had maintained stations at Beach 169 Street and Floyd Bennett Field, beginning at Rockaway Point in 1911 as a life saving station.

The U.S. Life Saving Service was absorbed into the Coastguard in 1915. Several years ago, as a cost-cutting measure, the boat station at Rockaway was moved to New Jersey, and was followed by the helicopter station at Floyd Bennett Field.

For those interested in the model plane, the wingspan is 44 inches and the length is 30 inches. The use of instant glue, white glue, and acrylic paints makes modeling more pleasurable to the nostrils, eliminating the aircraft "dope" type of paint and sealers.

Only the use of the new instant glues and enhancers requires adequate ventilation and intelligent use of the fingers.

Otherwise you can glue yourself up in strange places! (Laugh, c'mon!)

The red, white and blue roundels on the wings were the official United States aircraft markings for military aircraft, and the yellow and blue were the Navy colors of the day.

The top of the wing reads Rockaway 1986, and the underside reads NC-4 1919.

The underside of the hull reads- The Great Flight, Rockaway Beach, New York.

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