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Aviation Museum of N.H. to livestream virtual flight over Normandy beaches as Memorial Day tribute

LONDONDERRY, N.H.-It’s a day to honor all those who sacrificed in service to the nation. And this year, it’s also the day that a local museum’s global learning program arrives in Normandy, France.

In honor of the occasion, the Aviation Museum of N.H. will livestream its virtual flight from London, England to Caen, France on Monday, May 25 starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The two-hour flight will culminate in a low-altitude flyover of the beaches at Normandy, site of the historic Allied invasion in June 1944 that hastened the end of World War II and Hitler’s reign in Europe.

The livestream will be available on Monday, May 25 starting at 10 a.m. on the Aviation Museum’s Web site at www.aviationmuseumofnh.org. Access is free and open to all.

The route of the journey, made on a flight simulator in a vintage C-47 propeller aircraft, will include flyovers of Canterbury Cathedral, the famed white cliffs of Dover, and the Isle of Wight before crossing the English Channel to Normandy. Once in France, the flight will fly low over the beaches where D-Day landings were made starting 76 years ago next month.

The C-47 transport plane, the U.S. Army’s military version of the iconic Douglas DC-3 airliner, played a major role in supporting the D-Day invasion and the Allied push into Europe.

The route, flown using the Museum’s Elite professional simulator, will include flight deck views as well as external viewing angles. Commentary and background will be provided by museum personnel familiar with the region and its history.

The livestream event is part of the Aviation Museum’s ‘Around the World Flight Adventure,’ an online educational program designed as a remote learning resource for teachers and students.

The virtual around-the-world flight departed from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on May 1, crossing to Europe via the historic North Atlantic Ferry Route used in World War II, with stops in Goose Bay, Labrador; Narsarsuaq, Greenland; and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Flights are flown using the museum’s simulator and enhanced terrain software that can render realistic landscapes and weather conditions around the globe. A new segment is posted online twice a week, complete with flight deck video of highlights and information about science, geography, history, and local culture.

“With so many parades and gatherings cancelled this year due to coronavirus concerns and stay-at-home orders, we decided to livestream our flight on Memorial Day to give people a way to remember what this solemn day is all about,” said Jeff Rapsis, the museum’s executive director.

Memorial Day emerged after the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s to remember those lost in the conflict. Originally called “Decoration Day,” it was renamed after World War I to honor all lost in service to the nation. Memorial Day was traditionally observed on May 30 until 1968, when federal law changed it to the last Monday of May.

The ‘Around The World Flight Adventure’ will continue around the globe until the Aviation Museum re-opens to the public on a yet-to-be determined date, mostly likely later this summer. The flight will then return to the museum at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and a planned ceremony welcoming it home.

The Aviation Museum’s “Around The World Flight Adventure” is made possible with support from the museum’s members and generous donors, including Wire Belt Co. of America of Londonderry, N.H.; Signature Flight Services of Manchester; N.H. Humanities; and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

The Aviation Museum of N.H., 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, N.H. is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

Housed in the original 1937 passenger terminal at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the museum is dedicated to celebrating New Hampshire’s role in aviation history and inspiring tomorrow’s pioneers, innovators and aerospace professionals.

For more information, visit 

www.aviationmuseumofnh.org 

or call (603) 669-4820.

Follow the Aviation Museum on social media at www.facebook.com/nhahs.

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