Brad Reifler Visits the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum & Air Shows

Do you love to fly? Well, if airplanes are your passion – or even just a fancy, then the spectacular Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum & Air Shows is a treat for adults and children alike, says Brad Reifler, Millbrook resident and fan of early aviation history. Every Sunday the Old Rhinebeck dusts off its beautiful old planes and provides visitors with a stunning airshow in flying machines that look like they are made of toothpicks but soar with grace and power that needs to be seen to be believed.

Located in Rhinebeck, New York, the Aerodrome museum provides one of the “largest collections of early airplanes in the world – many of which regularly take to the air in all their glory…” says museum officials. In addition to vintage airplanes, the museum also houses old automobiles, early engines, bicycles and “memorabilia from 1900-1935.”

Air shows are on weekends from June through October and promise to wow visitors with a glimpse into the flying machines of yesteryear. Also during the June through October period, the museum provides “bi-plane rides” where families can hop aboard these flying old bi-plane gems, and get breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley. These rides cost $65 a person.

If you missed the summer fun, don’t worry. Even after October, visitors still have four museums featuring aircrafts from the Pioneer Era, World War I and the Lindbergh/Barnstorming area, says Brad Reifler.

The museum was founded by Cole Palen (who died in 1993 at the age of 68), master flyer, pilot and air showman. Palen was also known to be a restorer of old airplanes long thought gone. In the 1950s, Palen purchased a few W.W.I aircraft after the Roosevelt Field in New York was closed. Palen then had the hard job of moving his new planes (SPAD XIII, Avro 504K, Curtiss Jenny, Standard J-l, Aeromarine 39B and Sopwith Snipe) to upstate New York. According to museum officials, “It took nine 200-mile round trips to move the aircraft back to the Palen family home where they were stored in abandoned chicken coops.”

Palen bought the land the museum now stands on in the late 1950s and by 1960, Palen gave his first airshow – starring himself as the pilot. Since then Palen’s spirit lives on in the museum which continues to treatnew generations to the wondrous world of vintage aviation.

According to Brad Reifler, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum is open daily year round from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for teens and $5 for children ages 6-12. Children under age five are free. The museum is located in Rhineland NewYork in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. For directions and additional information on the museum’s hours, collections, and more, visit the website at