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A rectangular collage of five photos of the Tommy Plane


The Tommy Plane is the first thing that catches any visitors eye in our Exhibit Hall. This original Thomas Morse Scout S-4B, production no.191 was first built in Ithaca by the Thomas Morse Aircraft Corporation in 1918. One of only a few hundred that were manufactured, and for a time were used to train every WWI pilot. 

Tommy is on permanent loan to the museum from the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation (IAHF), who spent 14 years, and untold number of hours restoring the plane. Our Tommy is currently the only Thomas Morse Scout restored to full flight capacity anywhere in the world. 

In addition to being a 100+ year old working machine, the story of Tommy can help students learn about the history of Tompkins County, New York State, and the growth in industry and aviation across the country. 

A photo of a group of children standing in front of the Tommy Plane.

History at Home Activity Set - All About Tommy

All About Tommy - 1pg
Write Your Own Silent Film Storyboard - 3pg
Create Your Own Paper Airplane - 3pg
Learn about Tommy on HistoryForge - 3pg
Create Your Own Junk Plane - 2pg


Students can learn about the history of Tompkins County with the Old Time Flight Instructor through our five-part Learning to Fly with Tommy video series.

Videos run from 6-11 minutes long and cover a range of aviation related topics. Use the Pop Quiz questions for each episode.

You can also find videos  about the history of aviation in New York State, and news reports from Tommy's restoration and flight on our Tommy Plane YouTube Playlist and our Tommy Plane Collection on Vimeo. Both playlists include content created by The History Center in Tompkins County, the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation and other community partners. 

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Territory


Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact


Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to

Phone: 607-273-8284


Find us on social media @tompkinshistory


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