The Pilots' Guide to the Airports of Historic Massachusetts,
Massachusetts, one of the thirteen original states, has plenty of history to brag about:
- The Mayflower landed at Plymouth in 1620.
- Restive Colonists threw bales of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773.
- Someone discharged “shots heard round the world” in Lexington and Concord in 1775.
- Mills produced textiles used around the world in the 1800s.
- Four US presidents were born in Massachusetts (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and George H.W. Bush).
Aviation began in Massachusetts in 1910, less than seven years after the successes at Kitty Hawk, when Mr. Augustus M. Herring flew a biplane from frozen Chebacco Lake to Plum Island. In the early days, landing fields were often times located in areas used for other purposes: farmlands (fields), race tracks, golf courses, polo fields, and/or fairgrounds. Pilots who flew in Europe during the Great War (1914-1918) began to establish airfields around the state when they returned home. By the 1930s, commercial, and passenger aviation required better airports, and the airports expanded accordingly. Many young men learned to fly at airfields in Massachusetts during World War ll. Following the war, the U.S. Governments gave or sold airports to the towns in which they were located. Several airports opened in the 1950s and 1960s. Since World War ll, twenty-five airports have closed or abandoned.
Massachusetts is a small state with thirty-nine public-use airports. One out of every seven municipalities in the state has an airport. It is possible to fly a 172 to every airport in Massachusetts in a day (it’s been done), but you would miss out on the state’s many historical offerings by doing so. The purpose of this guide is to offer you, a pilot, with reasons to enjoy each and every one the airports in Massachusetts. So, put on your headset, and get going!
Beverly Municipal Airport BVY
Location: N42º35.05’ W70°54.99’
Longest runway: 5,001
Originally part of Salem, Beverly was incorporated in 1668, and takes its name from Beverley in Yorkshire, England. The first ship commissioned for the US military, by the US Army (the US Navy did not yet exist), was the armed schooner Hannah. It was outfitted at Glover's Wharf and first sailed from Beverly Harbor on September 5, 1775. For this reason Beverly calls itself the "Birthplace of America's Navy" — a claim disputed by other towns, including Marblehead.
In 1902, the United Shoe Machinery Corporation, makers of shoe-manufacturing equipment, constructed a quarter-mile stretch of factory buildings in Beverly. The buildings are an early example of reinforced concrete construction. In 1906 USM (The Shoe) went into production, and was a mainstay of Beverly’s economy for many decades. After the Shoe closed in 1987, Cummings Properties redeveloped the complex into a campus of hi-tech companies and medical offices.
BVY was built in 1928 through the efforts of the Beverly Aero Club and the Beverly Chamber of Commerce, and deeded to the City. During World War II the U.S. Navy operated the airport as a training facility, and in 1950, the airport was returned to the City of Beverly.