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Brinckerhoff Era



Brinckerhoff Flying Over UM

George Brinckerhoff flies over the University of Maryland, College Park campus.

Photograph Courtesy of the Prince George's County Historical Society



After Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, aviation entered an era of widespread popularity. Airports and airfields across America hosted exciting air meets and air shows attracting thousands of spectators. At College Park, airport manager George Brinkerhoff organized events with the Washington Air Derby Association, DC Air Legion, Washington Women's Pilots Association and other aviation groups. The public saw some of the best-known aviators of the day participating in air races, mock bombing competitions, and stunt flying expositions. 

The airfield's most well-known contest was the Langley Day Air Meet, named in honor of aviation pioneer Samuel Langley. This event, like most others at the field, took on an almost social quality, providing entertainment and sport for the nation during the Great Depression. 



Brinckerhoff Flying Over UM

 
Brinckerhoff Flying Service plane over the University of Maryland.

Photograph Courtesy of the Prince George's County Historical Society



When not holding these events, George Brinkerhoff serviced and sold airplanes, worked as a charter pilot, and trained student pilots. Many local pilots recall their first flight with Brinkerhoff.

During World War II, the airfield closed to civilian flying, but the military continued to use College Park for training. During the war, Brinkerhoff trained Army pilots in Georgia.