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PhiladelphiaIn 1991, Author Steven Coonts, spent three weeks hopping across America in the Cannibal Queen, a yellow, open-cockpit, 1942 Stearman biplane, resulting in a non- fiction book, The Cannibal Queen.  Shortly after, pilot and plane parted ways.

Until now.

Coonts and the Cannibal Queen will be reunited on Tuesday, May 13 when Coonts visits the Northeast Philadelphia Jet Center to sign copies of The Cannibal Queen and swap stories with local aviators. The book signing is scheduled for 6pm. Coonts will also be talking to film makers who are in town to shoot a documentary on the Cannibal Queen's rich history.

In December of 2002, Jim Lonerganthe planes current ownerand a group of aviation enthusiasts brought this historic plane to Philadelphia. Lonergans  crew, who refer to themselves as the QueenӒs current caretakers, share the joy of flying with the community by giving memorable flights over Philadelphia and the New Jersey Beaches. Lonergan also generously donates flights as auction items for local organization's fundraisers, most recently for Magee Rehabilitation Hospital.

"The front cockpit can accommodate two passengers sitting side-by-side.  You just canӒt imagine the sensation of flying in an open cockpit airplane until youve done it," said recent passenger Sean Kelley.  "It's the closest thing to being a bird any of us will ever feel."

The Cannibal Queen, built by Boeing in the summer of 1942 in Wichita Kansas, was one of 300 planes manufactured that summer as a primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  The US Army purchased the plane in the fall of 1942 and the Cannibal Queen served her country for the remainder of the War. She then spent over thirty years as agricultural spray plane before being lovingly restored in 1987. 

Gift certificates and custom flight plans are available. For additional information on the Queen and on flights, the public can contact Lonergan and his crew at www.BiplaneRidesOverPhiladelphia.com or by calling 215-794-1162.


Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, founded in 1958, is a 96-bed specialty medical rehabilitation hospital providing physical and cognitive rehabilitation services. Magee’s flagship facility is located in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to the main campus that offers comprehensive services for spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, orthopedic replacement, amputation, pain management and work injury, Magee provides an expanding out-patient network serving the surrounding communities. In 1985, Magee’s brain injury rehabilitation program became the first in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Magee partnered with Jefferson Hospital to create one of the nation’s 14 federally designated centers for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Magee has been rated one of America’s leading rehabilitation hospitals by U.S. News&World Report. Magee provides treatment to more than 5,000 individuals annually. Magee is authorized to treat wounded military personnel returning from war. Magee is not an Obligated Group Affiliate.


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