Past Special Event

Dedication of Historical Marker for the Main Line Airport

2:00 pm Thursday, October 5, 2017
70 Valley Stream Parkway, Malvern PA 19355

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More information on these photos and others

★   Main Line Airport Video   ★


Ian Alexander - Master of Ceremonies
Roger D. Thorne Board Chair, Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
Lt. Col. Kevin Berry Vice Commander, Penna. Wing, Civil Air Patrol
Bill Holmes Chair, Board of Supervisors, East Whiteland Township
Robert Beggs Co-Founder, American Helicopter Museum, West Chester, PA
Michelle H. Kichline Chair, Chester County Board of Commissioners
Dennis Dispenziere Senior VP and CFO, Ricoh Americas
Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman Penna. State Senator, 19th District
Unveiling the Marker:
Anthony Morris, Esq. Son of Nicholas Waln Morris, Vice-President and flight instructor, Demorr Aeronautical Corporation at the Main Line Airport.
Daniel Kurkjian - Son of Haig Kurkjian, President, Haig-K Aircraft Corporation at what later became known as the Main Line Heliport.
Reading of the Marker Text:
Virginia Devaney Somers Daughter of Charles Devaney, President, Demorr Aeronautical Corporation at the Main Line Airport.
As the ceremony concluded, five vintage aircraft from the period of the Main Line Airport performed a flyover of the marker dedication site.
CLOSING and RECEPTION: At the completion of the Dedication and Flyover , all were invited to a small reception within the adjacent campus of Ricoh USA Inc.

Parking available in the Ricoh lot and other locations as directed.

Download the Event Program (PDF).

East Whiteland Township, Ricoh USA Inc., and the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society, with the invaluable help of many individual financial supporters, dedicated a new historical marker honoring the legacy of the Main Line Airport, which stood for over 50 years on land that is today occupied by the Great Valley Corporate Center, in Malvern, Pa.

The dedication ceremony was held within the Great Valley Corporate Center on the campus of Ricoh at 70 Valley Stream Parkway, near the intersection of Valley Stream Parkway and Swedesford Road, at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 5, 2017. The event was open to the public and an estimated audience of several hundred attended.

Few people today are aware of the existence of the legendary Main Line Airport, let alone its many contributions to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aviation. It was one of Pennsylvania's earliest country airfields, and served aviation from the 1920s through the 1970s. On this property during the 1930s, major research advancements in rotary-wing stability and control were developed and later incorporated into the world's first successful helicopter. This field, also called by many the “Paoli Airport,” served for decades as a flight training center for hundreds of fixed-wing pilots in both war and peace. In the uncertain early months of World War II, a Civil Air Patrol squadron established at the Main Line Airport provided desperately needed manpower and material to support America's battle against marauding German submarines along America's mid-Atlantic coast. And further rotary-wing innovations created here in the 1950s-60s contributed to the helicopter as we know it today. The importance of the Main Line Airport cannot be overstated.

At the conclusion of this brief ceremony, there was an exciting flyover of five of the historic aircraft that would have flown into the Main Line Airport. A reception with light refreshments followed at the adjacent headquarters of Ricoh. At this reception, we also were pleased to welcome several individuals who actually flew out of the Main Line Airport and its subsequent heliport so many years ago. Those who joined us for the reception also enjoyed the collection of photographs depicting this historic site that was on display.

For more in-depth information, there are several very informative artcles in our History Quarterly online archive:


Page last updated: 2018-10-20 at 16:00 EDT
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