A local aviation related story is that one of our historic military landmarks for the area has closed:
Seven military aircraft powered up their engines and taxied slowly along the runway, as if hesitant to leave the ground.
Yet one by one, the hulking C-130 turboprop, the nimble A-10 Thunderbolt, and an assortment of other helicopters and jet fighters took off – hurtling down the 8,000-foot stretch of pavement for what would ultimately be a one-way trip.
“Willow Grove, thanks for the 68 years of dedicated service,” a radio trafficker’s voice squawked as the last plane disappeared into a gray afternoon sky.
Then, the runway lights went dark.
Given that the entire history of modern aviation is only about a century old, Willow Grove has been around for most of it. I went to air shows there as a kid, and more recently, back when they were doing that. The Pentagon has wanted to close it for a while, but local Congress Critters always lobbied to keep it open. What will happen to the base is uncertain, but there’s been talk of using it as an alternate airport to take pressure off of Philadelphia International Airport, which is the 11th busiest airport in the world.