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HAL offers program on aviation, aircraft

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Wed, Apr 13th 2016 10:30 am

The Historical Association of Lewiston's April program is "Aviation History on the Niagara Frontier - The Bell Aircraft Corp." John Percy will present a program on Larry Bell's aircraft challenges and accomplishments.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 915 Oneida St.

The program will cover Bell's work with Consolidated Aircraft, the establishment of Bell Aircraft in the Buffalo Consolidated Aircraft factory on Elmwood Avenue in 1937, and his move to the Niagara Falls facility in 1941. Also highlighted during the program will be the Bell airplanes, including the Airacuda, Airacobra, Airacomet and Kingcobra; the plywood plane experiment; building the Stratofortress in Georgia; the X1, X2 and X5; as well as various helicopters, VTOL and moon lander. Guests will also learn about Bell's development of the super-secret P59 in Buffalo, experimenting with helicopters at Gardenville, the classic Model 47 helicopter, supersonic planes and their air-cushion vehicles.

Percy has spent more than 50 years as an educator and writer. He taught for the U.S. Army Signal School, City of Tonawanda Junior High School and Senior High School, The Millard Fillmore School at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and at Canisius College. He has also taught courses for The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Elderhostels at D'Youville College, The Center for Renewal at Stella Niagara and teacher centers at Kenmore-Tonawanda, Tonawanda and Grand Island schools.

Percy has served as historian for the Town of Tonawanda and the Village of Kenmore since 1969, revitalizing the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society. His lifelong interest in geography and many years of research and writing have resulted in publishing five books about the history of those communities. He has presented a wide variety of historical programs to several hundred community organizations throughout Western New York and in Ontario.

This event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.

Note:This John Percy is not the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. John Percy.

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