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Holiday exhibit at airport to feature more than 3,000 aviation toys and model aircraft!

Aviation Museum's first-ever 'Festival of Planes' highlights vintage toys from Lindbergh to Luke Skywalker

It's a new holiday exhibit designed to make your imagination take flight.

The 'Festival of Planes,' a display of more than 3,000 vintage aviation toys and model aircraft, will open on Friday, Nov. 29 at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire.

The walk-through exhibit features aviation-themed toys, models, puzzles, and promotional items from throughout the 20th century, from the Wright Brothers to such sci-fi favorites as Star Trek, Star Wars, and more.

"For a century now, children have been finding toy planes and model aircraft among their holiday gifts," said Jeff Rapsis, executive director of the Aviation Museum of N.H. "No matter what decade you grew up in, our 'Festival of Planes' exhibit will help you rediscover the toys that first acquainted you with the magic of flight."

The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. In addition, the museum will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays during the holiday season for evening viewing of the 'Festival of Planes.'

FestivalofPlanes-Logo-30Also on display will be vintage aircraft piloted by celebrities including Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and Barbie.

The exhibit, a combination of several collections as well as items from the Aviation Museum's own archives, will use toys and model aircraft to trace aviation history from the beginning of powered flight through to the present day.

The 'Festival of Planes' exhibit of aviation toys and model aircraft is included with museum admission of $10 per person; $5 seniors 65+, veterans/active military, students under 13. Members and children under age 5, free.

The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. In addition, the museum will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays during the holiday season for evening viewing of the 'Festival of Planes.'

"We'll be open so families can make our 'Festival of Planes' part of their holiday light-viewing adventures in the evening," Rapsis said.

The walk-through exhibit is designed to be an immersive experience, complete with Christmas trees, a fire-placed living room, and a starry winter sky filled with model planes flying overhead. Whenever possible, toys will be displayed with their original packaging.

The Aviation Museum of N.H. is located at 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, N.H. It can be reached via Exit 1 on Interstate 293 in Manchester and heading south on South Willow Street past the Mall of New Hampshire entrance; then follow the brown "Aviation Museum" directional signs.

The 'Festival of Planes' exhibit is supported by the Top Fun Aviation Museum of Fitchburg, Mass.; Manchester-Boston Regional Airport; and the Cogswell Benevolent Trust.photo A-20

The primary source of the aviation toys and model aircraft on display is the collection of the Top Fun Aviation Toy Museum, which totals more than 3,000 items and is on loan to the Aviation Museum of N.H.

Other sources include a fleet of hand-made model aircraft built by Howard Becker of Goffstown, N.H. and recently donated to the Aviation Museum; and a collection of pristine Pacific Aircraft collectible models donated last May by Mauro Scali of Londonderry, N.H.

"Our 'Festival of Planes' is 100 percent toys, but through it you can trace the whole history of the 20th century, from the custom-made cast iron planes of the Lindbergh era all the way through today's mass-produced Hello Kitty airplane toys and accessories," Rapsis said. 

"Along the way, you can see the presence of the World War II, the dawn of the Jet Age, the Space Race and the mood landings, and so much more. It's all there in the toys."

None of the items in the exhibition will be for sale, but the Aviation Museum gift shop will offer a wide range of aviation-themed holiday gifts, keepsakes, and mementos. 

photo F-10All proceeds will go to support the Aviation Museum, a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization dedicated to celebrating New Hampshire's role in aviation history and inspiring tomorrow's pioneers, innovators and aerospace professionals.

The 'Festival of Planes' exhibit of aviation toys and model aircraft will be open from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, N.H.

The Aviation Museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. For the 'Festival of Planes,' the museum will also be open Wednesday to Sunday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 12.

The 'Festival of Planes' exhibit of aviation toys and model aircraft is included with museum admission of $10 per person; $5 seniors 65+, veterans/active military, students under 13. Members and children under age 5, free.

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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