biplane rides in the Cannibal Queen

Transport back in time to 1942 and soar high above the Jersey Shore in a historic open cockpit biplane.

The Cannibal Queen is a famous Stearman biplane that was designed to train beginner pilots during World War II — “If you were a 19 or 20 year old kid going into the army in World War II and you were going to do pilot training this was the very first airplane you flew,” Jim Lonergan, one of the owners and pilots of The Cannibal Queen, said.

“You learned your basic flying, your instrument flying, your aerobic flying. You had 10 hours to learn how to fly the airplane.”

For the last 15 years, the historic primary trainer biplane has been offering rides to the public above the Jersey beaches, providing beautiful panoramic views of the area.
Lonergan, who said the aviation bug is in his DNA, said he loves sharing the experience of flying with others.
“When everyone comes back they're wearing this big smile on their face — We call it the ‘Stearman smile,’ ” Lonergan said. “People are a little apprehensive in the beginning. They're a little curious about it — there's a bit of that 'Well, I've never done this before' kind of thing, but every time we come back they're wearing that big old smile.”

The Cannibal Queen has two seats in the front, where passengers can sit side by side, and a rear seat in the cockpit, where the pilot sits. The Queen offers a variety of rides, including the beach excursion, which is a 75 minute ride that travels from Long Branch to Long Beach Island. A single passenger trip costs $599, two passengers cost $699.

The Windjammer trip is a 50 minute ride that soars over the bay, circles the lighthouse and flies above the beaches, where the Cannibal Queen will wave her wings to your friends down below. A single passenger trip costs $399, two passengers cost $499.
Lonergan said customers can also take trips from LBI to Asbury Park and get a glimpse of everything in between.

This Saturday, Sept. 5, Lonergan said they will be inviting all World War II veteran pilots out to Ocean County Airport at 10 a.m. to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. WWII pilots will have the chance to fly up in The Cannibal Queen free of charge.

“It's very touching for them,” Lonergan said. “It's very emotional because it brings them way back in time. back to when they were young and starting out in their flying career. and this is the very first airplane they ever flew. It brings back a lot of memories.”

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