Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Most summer Sundays at the storybook Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (42 Stone Church Rd., off Rte. 9 about three miles north of Rhinebeck, 845/758-8610, www.oldrhinebeck.org), Sir Percy Good Fellow climbs into his biplane to fight the Evil Black Baron for the heart of Trudy Truelove. Cheering the adversaries on as the rotary engines roar and the castor oil burns are the excitable Madame Fifi, the dashing Pierre Loop-da-Loop, and a crowd of early-21st-century citizens who have donned WWI-era hats and scarves, dresses, and coats at the gate.
Appearances to the contrary, this charming aerodrome—holding a hodgepodge of hand-painted signs and rickety hangars—is a serious place. On its grounds are about 75 historic airplanes dating back to the early 1900s. Among them are a 1911 Curtiss D, a 1929 Sopwith Camel, and a 1908 Voison whose double canvas wings, light as gossamer, resemble those of a giant dragonfly. Summer weekends feature an air show reenacting historic flights.
At the aerodrome you can visit a museum (10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily June–October, adults $6, children $2) or attend the air shows (2–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. June–Oct., adults $15, seniors $10, children $5; includes museum admission). After the shows, flights in a 1929 open-cockpit biplane are offered ($45 for a 15-minute ride).
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition