LIRAHS 1929-1945

Seversky And Republic Aviation: The Take-off Years

The 77.967 acre  Fairchild Flying Field was developed in the late winter and early spring of 1928 and was originally owned and operated by Fairchild Engine & Airplane Manufacturing Company. The first flights from  Fairchild's  Flying Field took place in late spring of 1928 after the Fairchild Airplane and the Fairchild Engine factories were completed and aircraft were produced in the new factories.Fairchild built Model 41,41A, 42, 21, 100 and 150 airplanes in East Farmingdale. After Fairchild moved his aviation operations to Hagerstown, Maryland in 1931, the American Airplane & American Engine Corp. divisions of the Aviation Corporation, (AVCO)  built Pilgrim 100 aircraft in the former Fairchild Airplane factory. American failed due to the severely declining demand for airplanes during the Great Depression.  Grumman Aircraft Engineering moved to East Farmingdsle from Valley Stream and  built planes  for the U.S. Navy in the former Fulton Truck factory alongside the American Airplane factory at the airfield from 1932 until the spring of 1937. Fairchild returned to East Farmingdale when he established the Ranger Aircraft Engine Corp. in the former Fairchild Engine factory in 1934. Ranger remained at Republic until 1955.  Seversky Aircraft moved into the vacant American Airplane factory in January 1935 relocating from College Point in Queens. Seversky Aircraft  became Republic Aviation in  October 1939. Republic built 9,087 P-47 Thunderbolts in East Farmingdale during World War II and employed over 24,000 workers here in 1944. During the war, Republic expanded its huge factory complex on the south side of Conklin Street, built  three additional hangars, and a control tower and lengthened and hardened the airfields' runways. During World War II, 1-19 was Republic's longest runway- stretching almost to Route 109. Conklin Street at Republic was closed to the public in January 1941 by  the Suffolk County  Highway Department to permit the rapid construction of the massive Republic industrial complex.  In 1942, Republic Aviation built a 900' "dogleg" around the factory after Ranger Engine had built in the Conklin Street roadbed  The "dogleg" allowed workers in carpools driving east access to the Southern State Parkway via New Highway.Conklin Street was re-opened to the public  in 1965 when Republic was taken over by Fairchild Hiller. The cumbersome "dogleg" was ended in the late 1990's when the historic  Republic factory complex was razed and Conklin Street was straightened

Excellent aerial view of Republic Aviation complex looking south. probably in the late 1950's. Republic's three runways are visible. Breslau and Lambert properties had not yet been acquired. Note the massive parking losts to the west of the factory complex and the LILCO natural gas globe near Route 110 and Conklin Street..  

Timeline Of Events At The Airport (1929-1945)

Companies At The Airport:

 Grumman Aircraft

Leroy Grumman moved from Valley Stream To Farmingdale  in 1932..Under Construction...

  • Years Active at the airport, 1932-1937
  • Aircraft Constructed: XF3F-1; XF3F/2; XSBF-1 ...more to come
  • Photo Gallery

 

 Seversky Aircraft

Alexander De Seversky founded a new aircraft company for the development of........Under Construction...

  • Years Active 1935-1939
  • Aircraft Constructed:  SEV-3; BT-8; P-35; XP-41
  • Photo Gallery

 

 Republic Aviation

Seversky was dismissed from the company he founded and the board of directors re-named it Republic Aviation.......Under Construction...