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The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a museum of World War I aircraft and antique automobiles that is located in Red Hook, New Yorkmarker, USAmarker.


The aerodrome is the inspiration of Cole Palen, who himself was partially inspired by the existence of the Shuttleworth Collectionmarker in Englandmarker, regularly flew many of the aircraft during weekend airshows as his alter-ego "The Black Baron". These airshows still continue mid-June through mid-October, and biplane rides are available before and after the shows.

The simple early shows led to a philosophy of not only showing the aircraft in their natural environment, but also providing a fun and entertaining day out for the whole family. From this the air show that the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome was to become famous for was developed. This included a zany melodrama, inspired by the storylines of silent film melodramas of the past, featuring Cole Palen-created characters such as the daring Sir Percy Goodfellow doing battle with the Evil Black Baron (loosely based on the Red Baron and originally-and hilariously-portrayed by Palen himself) for the hand of the lovely Trudy Truelove.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome features many remarkable World War I and pre-World War I aircraft that can be seen nowhere else in the world today, especially flying. For example, Palen built a Fokker Triplane that flew for many years. Carrying the American registration number N6221, it was one of Palen's first reproduction aircraft projects to fly when Old Rhinebeck opened in the mid-1960s. This aircraft, and another replica, were flown for nearly two decades by Cole Palen. These aircraft are now on static display.

The collection also includes an restored 1909 Bleriot XI (including an original three cylinder Anzani radial engine) that is the second oldest flying aircraft in the world.


On August 17, 2008, around 4 p.m. during the performance of a simulated dog fight at the Aerodrome,Vincent Nasta of Wading River, NY died of injuries sustained when his plane crashed in to a heavily wooded area 1000 feet from the runway and performance area. The aircraft being used was part of the aerodrome's World War I collection and was reported to be a reproduction French Nieuport 24.




At least four books have been written about Old Rhinebeck. These include:

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