• Opportunities for Flying and Hangar Flying Abound

    Posted on April 4th, 2014 John Dorcey No comments

    While winter weather continues in Wisconsin – snow is forecast for the northern half of the state, spring is definitely in the air. More and more activities, either about flying or involving flying, are appearing on the calendar. Over the next few weeks you have numerous opportunities to hear some interesting flying stories, attend two fly-in breakfasts (one with educational seminars), participate in a spot landing contest where proceeds go to charity and attend the 59th annual Wisconsin Aviation Conference. The only question is which events will you take advantage of?

    S.J. Wittman Birthday Fly-in Breakfast
    Saturday, April 12
    Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH), Oshkosh
    The Steve Wittman Chapter (Chapter 252) of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will be holding its annual S.J. Wittman birthday breakfast celebration. The event is held in the airport’s terminal building located at 525 West 20th Avenue. For those flying in you’ll park at the terminal ramp on the NE corner of the airport.

    In addition to the a eggs, sausage and all you can eat pancake breakfast, a special focus on the Wittman Tailwind aircraft will be conducted. A Young Eagles event will be held in conjunction with the event. Women in Aviation, Oshkosh Chapter will be selling cupcakes as a scholarship fundraiser. The event runs from 7:30 until 11:00 a.m. Steve Wittman was born April 5, 1904; the event celebrates the famous air racer’s 110th birthday. For more information contact Dennis Moehn at 920-810-1046.

    Oshkosh Chapter, Women in Aviation
    Tuesday, April 15
    EAA AirVenture Museum, Oshkosh
    Sergeant John Jones of the Wisconsin State Patrol will explain aircraft types used and modifications to make them suitable for law enforcement purposes. He’ll cover training requirements, how the specialized technology in the aircraft operates, as well as communication and coordination systems with ground support troopers. John’s presentation includes numerous stories and photos of real world events highlighting the range of activities in which flying troopers are involved. The program begins at 7:00 PM and is open to the public. The Women in Aviation, Oshkosh Chapter meets monthly and membership is open to all pilots and aviation supporters.

    Fox Valley Technical College
    Saturday, April 26
    Spanbauer Aviation
    Center, Oshkosh
    FVTC’s Aviation Center’s Seventh Annual French Toast Breakfast Fly-in includes breakfast and two educational seminars. Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m. and runs until noon. The French toast breakfast with yummy sides is an amazing $5. Local flight instructors Tim Lemke and Keith Myers will each present a safety seminar. Tim will address “The Art of Trim Control” and Keith’s presentation is “FARs Every Pilot Should Know.” The FVTC Spanbauer Aviation Center is located at 3601 Oregon Street in Oshkosh. The school’s ramp is on the east end of Delta taxiway.

    59th Annual Wisconsin Aviation Conference
    Monday – Wednesday, May 5 – 7
    Patriot Center, Rothschild
    Wisconsin Aviation Conference 2014 logoThe 2014 Wisconsin Aviation Conference begins with two networking events, golf and sporting clays, during the day. A welcome reception and dinner on Monday evening provides attendees a chance to meet and catch up with friends and associates. Tuesday morning the conference program begins with topics designed to be of interest to everyone in the aviation community. Sessions and presenters include: industry updates by the FAA and Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics, Wildlife Hazard Management, Strategic Planning, the Wisconsin Aerospace Consortium, NEXTGEN, General Aviation Hangar Construction Trends, and more. Visit www.wiama.org for more information.

    EAA Speakers Series
    Thursday, May 15
    EAA AirVenture Museum, Oshkosh
    Tom ThomasTom Thomas will present “Landing a C-97 at Dodgeville” as the final presenter in this year’s Speaker Series. Many of you have seen the C-97 parked outside the Don Q Inn on Hwy. 23 in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Tom will share his story of the role he played in landing that huge airplane on the short runway that once graced the Don Quinn property. Tom will discuss this experience, which took place in 1977, with explanations of preflight and runway preparations, aircraft operations, and other facts about the flight. The program begins at 7:00 PM, is open to the public and is free of charge. FMI: 920-426-6108.

    Landings for Lunches
    Entire month of May
    Wausau Downtown Airport (KAUW)
     A charity flying challenge, giving airplane pilots an opportunity to compete in a spot landing contest. Proceeds from the 2nd annual event benefit The Neighbors’ Place. During the entire month of May, pilots will attempt to land with their main wheels on or as close as possible to a box marked on the runway. Pilots will donate one dollar and a non-perishable food item (or an additional dollar) each time they compete. Donations will be split between prize money and contributions to The Neighbors’ Place. Contact John at Wausau Flying Service for more information, 715-845-3400 or visit www.WausauFlyingService.com.

    Plenty of opportunities for you to “get back in the air” this spring. Bring a friend to any, or better yet all, of these events.

  • Aviation students your time is running out!

    Posted on March 20th, 2014 John Dorcey No comments

    Are you a full-time aviation/aerospace student from Wisconsin? Would you benefit from a scholarship? If so, we have great news for you, but you must hurry!

    The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) and its foundation partner Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin recently announced an extension of its scholarship application deadline. You now have until March 31, 2014 to complete the online application package. Visit the foundation’s website and scroll down to Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame Scholarships. There you will find links to the scholarship’s guidelines as well as the online application. Past recipients are eligible for repeat awards.

    WAHF has been providing scholarships to aviation students since 2001. Last year WAHF expanded its program to include full-time aviation and aerospace students attending either  two or four year programs anywhere in the country. That program expansion added a Wisconsin residency requirement. Today, the organization provides nearly $3,000 annually through five individual awards in support of aviation/aerospace education.

    Contact Sue Nelson, the Community Foundation’s program manager, with any questions. Sue can be reached at 715-845-9555 or by email.

    Community Foundation logo


  • Scholarship Program Grows Again; Applications Due Soon

    Posted on February 7th, 2014 John Dorcey No comments

    The WAHF Scholarship Program began in 2002 with a single $1,000 annual award. A second award, the Thiessen Field Scholarship was added in 2005 and, in 2007, the Jerome Ripp Memorial Scholarship increased the program’s awards to three. The Thiessen and Ripp Scholarships each provide an annual $500 award. During October 26, 2013 ceremonies, the organization presented its 26th, 27th and 28th scholarships. The program, during its short 12-year history, has provided $20,000 in awards to 28 students, representing four different schools. In addition to making those awards, WAHF announced that two additional scholarships would begin in 2014.

    2012 WAHF Scholarship Recipients

    2012 WAHF Scholarship Recipients

    The Jeff Baum Scholarship is a $250 award, established by the AvFuel Corporation, which recognizes Baum for his outstanding commitment, leadership and passion for everything aviation. The Baum Scholarship is directed toward those pursuing a career in aviation business management. The $500 Robert Payzer Memorial/EAA Chapter 640 Scholarship began when the Wausau area chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association elected to recognize former member Robert Payzer. Students in any aviation/aerospace discipline will be considered for the Payzer scholarship.

    2013 Scholarship Recipients Heather Behrent and Rich Conrad

    2013 Scholarship Recipients Heather Behrent and Rich Conrad

    The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame recently changed its scholarship program to include Wisconsin students enrolled in aviation/aerospace courses of study at colleges and universities located outside the state. The change applies to all of its scholarships, except the Thiessen Field Scholarship, which goes only to students in aviation programs at a Wisconsin technical college.

    The application deadline for all scholarships is March 3, 2014. Additional information and application materials can be found at www.CFONCW.org. Questions regarding Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame scholarship criteria or application process can be directed to Sue Nelson at the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin office, sue@cfoncw.org or 715-845-9555.

  • Aviation Scholarship

    Posted on October 18th, 2013 John Dorcey No comments

    The future of aviation is alive and well. We see it every summer during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Exhibits of new aircraft designs, some consisting of new materials, others powered by new engines, all brighten our future. I spent every day of AirVenture 2013 volunteering with an exhibitor in the new Education and Interactive Zone. Located northwest of the control tower, the area was created to highlight aviation education programs and provided numerous interactive exhibits. The indoor College Park facility was constantly abuzz with activity. It was exciting to meet literally hundreds of students, teachers, and professors. Yes, the future of aviation, the future of aviation scholarship, is getting brighter everyday.

    The future of aviation scholarship is bright here, at WAHF, too. The WAHF scholarship program began in 2002 with a single $1000 annual award. Through the generosity of Jerome Thiessen, and friends and family of Jerome Ripp, two additional awards were added to the program. Late last year the program was revised and expanded to include Wisconsin students attending schools outside of Wisconsin. Today, Wisconsin residents who are continuing students in an aviation/aerospace program at any 2- or 4-year school in the country are eligible for these scholarships. Earlier this year, EAA Chapter 640 in Wausau, Wisconsin, provided funds to endow a fourth WAHF scholarship award. That scholarship will begin next year. The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin (CFoNCW), located in Wausau, administers WAHF’s scholarship program.

    This year, the WAHF scholarship program is presenting its 12th annual awards. To date the program has awarded $20,000 to 28 aviation students from Wisconsin. The 2013 recipients will be recognized at the organization’s annual induction ceremony and banquet on Saturday, October 26 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

    Alex Adduci, 2013 Carl Guell Memorial Scholarship recipient

    Alex Adduci, 2013 Carl Guell Memorial Scholarship recipient

    Carl Guell Memorial Scholarship
    Alex Adduci has been selected as the 2013 Carl Guell Memorial scholarship recipient. Alex, from Eagle, Wisconsin, is an aeronautical engineering major at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

    Before attending college, Alex learned to fly, soloing at 16 and earning his private pilot certificate and instrument rating at 17. Alex added a commercial pilot certificate at 18, about the time he was finishing high school. Alex has participated in a number of extracurricular activities and community service projects. Currently he is serving an internship with Gulfstream in Savannah, Georgia.

    “I would not be the person I am today without the wonderful support of those vested in the history and adventure of general aviation in Wisconsin,” said Alex, upon receiving word of his selection. “This scholarship that the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame has so generously offered comes as a wonderful surprise, but also makes me so very glad that we have such a dedicated group of people supporting and keeping general aviation at its finest. Thank you WAHF,” Alex added. “You have my deepest gratitude.”

    Rich Conrad, 2013 Thiessen Field Scholarship recipient

    Rich Conrad, 2013 Thiessen Field Scholarship recipient

    Thiessen Field Scholarship
    Rich Conrad, of Kiel, Wisconsin, will receive the $500 Thiessen Field award. Rich has been a private pilot for 5 years. After being laid off from a yacht manufacturer 2 years ago, he decided to pursue a career as an aircraft maintenance technician. He is an Airframe and Powerplant/Aircraft Avionics student at Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh.

    “I have recently completed my two-year Airframe and Powerplant training course at FVTC and earned my FAA mechanic certificate with Airframe and Powerplant ratings,” said Rich. “This scholarship is a great help and wonderful gift to continuing my education in the aviation field. I hope to continue on in aviation to help others realize how exciting and enjoyable this field is; the variety, age, and technology of aircraft is endless. Thank you for your support of aviation right here in Wisconsin!”

    Heather Behrent, 2013 Jerome Ripp Memorial Scholarship recipient

    Heather Behrent, 2013 Jerome Ripp Memorial Scholarship recipient

    Rich plans to continue his education, pursuing an associate degree in avionics. In addition to becoming a commercial pilot, Rich’s goal is to manage a repair facility and potentially become a flight instructor.

    Jerome Ripp Memorial Scholarship
    Heather Behrent, Appleton, is the recipient of the $500 Jerome Ripp Memorial scholarship. Heather is also an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics/Aircraft Avionics student at FVTC in Oshkosh. “I believe I will enjoy being in an environment where detail and quality are of utmost importance,” Heather explained when asked why she chose this field. “I express my sincere gratitude to all of the individuals involved in selecting me for this scholarship. Without foundations such as the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame, I would not be able to fulfill my dream of finishing the Airframe and Powerplant program at Fox Valley Technical College. This scholarship has given me the wonderful opportunity of being able to be a successful leader in my field of study.”

    News regarding WAHF’s scholarship program will be made at the October 26 event. Establishing an award as part of the WAHF scholarship program is welcomed. You can begin the process by sending an email. Donations to the scholarship program are easily accomplished using your credit card at the CFoNCW’s secure website. One tenet of WAHF’s mission is the support of aviation education, and through our scholarship program, WAHF is “preserving the past and fostering the future of flight.”





  • Money Problem

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 John Dorcey No comments

    A longtime friend dies and leaves you a generous gift. Sounds like a problem many of us would like to have, or upon reflection, would we? That is exactly what happened to Wausau, Wisconsin’s EAA Chapter 640. Looking at the big picture, the chapter had several genuine concerns. Some members were afraid that the money would detract from the group’s primary focus. Others were concerned about the what and who questions. What projects would be chosen and who would spend the time and effort at oversight? It became apparent that the gift brought with it obligations and responsibilities the chapter felt might be better handled by others. They then looked for help and found it with two like-minded organizations.

    Chapter members looked for someone who had experience in awarding scholarships. Most members were aware of the Wausau-based Archie Towle Aviation Endowment Fund and some knew of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) and its scholarship award program. Research and discussions among members continued until last month’s chapter meeting. After motions were made and some discussion, the votes were tallied and both organizations were recipients of a $10,000 gift. Donation checks were presented during a brief ceremony at the Wausau Downtown Airport (KAUW) yesterday afternoon.

    Bob Mohr, EAA Chapter 640 president, said in opening remarks, “We are proud to be helping young men and women through the establishment of a new scholarship fund with the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.” He shared how the chapter’s donation is a result of an estate gift left to the chapter by Bob Payzer, a Wausau native and friend of the chapter who passed away in 2010. Rose Dorcey, WAHF president, stated, “WAHF is pleased to have EAA Chapter 640 as a partner in furthering our scholarship program and appreciate their commitment to supporting aviation education.” Dorcey continued, “The Wausau area has a long history of aviation visionaries and we feel their spirit in the chapter’s donation.”

    The chapter’s donation, the largest single gift WAHF has received to date, will endow a new, named scholarship. The $500 award will be presented annually. Successful applicants for the new scholarship will be Wisconsin residents who are full-time aviation/aerospace students at US technical schools, colleges, or universities with strong academic performance, civic involvement, and extracurricular activities.

    Sid Cohen and Bob Mohr from EAA Chapter 640 join reps from Archie Towle Foundation, Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame and Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin

    Sid Cohen (left) and Bob Mohr from EAA Chapter 640 join Rose Marie Towle, Bob Wylie, Wynne Williams, Rose Dorcey, Jean Tehan and John Dorcey

    Rose Towle and Bob Wylie represented the Towle Aviation Endowment Fund. Rose related that initial funding for their scholarship came from her step-son, Brad Towle, in memory of his father Larry Towle as a tribute to his grandfather, Archie. The fund has provided more than $36,000 to 16 Wausau-area recipients. Bob Wylie, a member of the fund’s advisory committee stated, “The gift to the Towle Fund will increase the scholarship by about $500 each year. The cost of flight training is high, and through this generous gift, students will find some relief of the financial burden of their education.”

    The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, based in Wausau, is the administrator for both the Archie Towle Aviation Fund and WAHF’s scholarship program. Executive Director of the foundation, Jean Tehan, served as ceremony emcee. Other foundation staff participating were Program Manager Sue Nelson and Operations Director Tammy Szekress.


  • WAHF Expands Scholarship Program

    Posted on March 25th, 2013 John Dorcey No comments

    The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) , as part of its mission, looks to promote aviation education for future generations. One way the organization achieves that mission is through the awarding of scholarships. The program began in 2002 when WAHF presented its first scholarship. Since then the program has literally taken off. Today the organization announced an expansion to the program.

    2012 WAHF Scholarship recipients

    2012 WAHF Scholarship recipients

    Wisconsin residents who are continuing students in a 2 or 4-year accredited aviation or aerospace program are eligible for either the Carl Guell or Jerome Ripp Memorial Scholarships. These awards are based on scholastic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities at school and within the community. The Theissen Field Scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in an aviation program provided by any of Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges. This award places financial need above scholastic ability.

    Applications for any of the three awards are available through the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. Look for either the Jerome Theissen Aviation Financial Assistance Fund or Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame Scholarship from the list of awards. Applications must be completed and received by the foundation by April 15. Applicants are asked to attend WAHF’s induction ceremony held annually in Oshkosh, WI during October. Additional details are found in the organization’s press release. Donations to WAHF’s scholarship fund can be made through either the Community Foundation or WAHF.

  • Fritz Wolf: Badger State Ace

    Posted on January 28th, 2012 John Dorcey No comments

    The Wisconsin Veterans Museum unveiled a new World War II era exhibit, Fritz Wolf: Badger State Ace, during ceremonies yesterday afternoon, Friday, January 27. Fritz Wolf, a Shawano, Wisconsin, native and World War II naval aviator, flew with Claire Chennault and his fabled “Flying Tigers”. The exhibit includes numerous artifacts, photographs, and mementos from Wolf’s military service. A short video detailing a homecoming parade held upon his return from his AVG service in July 1942 completes the display. The exhibit will open to the public beginning Tuesday, January 31.

    Fritz Wolf exhibitThe new display is nestled among larger exhibits of the time period – Between the Wars, World War II, and Victory at Sea. This latter exhibit includes a large scale model of the USS Hornet (CV-8) outfitted with 16 North American B-25B aircraft of the April 1942 Doolittle Raid. Plans called for the B-25s to become an AVG bomber group in Chennault’s fledgling air force.

    Museum Director Michael Telzrow welcomed the score of visitors to the ceremony, sharing how the recently donated collection was obviously a labor of love for the Wolf family. He continued by saying, “It is a distinct honor to be selected as custodians of the rich and well-cared for collection.”  Wolf’s children, Catherine White, Linda Ryckeghem, and Richard Wolf, donated the collection to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum late last year. Telzrow then introduced the museum’s curator of history, Jeff Kollath. Kollath told of the Wolf materials’ depth and detail. He closed his comments stating, “The museum is most proud to exhibit the Wolf materials.”

    The Winter 2011 edition of The Bugle, quarterly publication of the museum, featured Fritz Wolf on its cover and included an article detailing his career. A reception for family and friends was held following the ceremony.

    Wisconsin Veterans Museum logoThe museum is unique in that it is a division of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. The Wisconsin legislature enacted law in 1901 requiring the state to establish a memorial dedicated to commemorating Wisconsin’s role in the Civil War and any other subsequent war. The museum meets the and exceeds the requirements of that law. Today, the museum’s exhibits include award-winning dioramas, full-scale replicas of Sopwith Camel and North American P-51 airplanes, a Huey UH-1 helicopter, and more. The current facility, located at 30 West Mifflin Street, on Madison’s Capitol Square, opened its doors June 6, 1993.The museum has 10,000 square feet of exhibit space with an additional 7,000 square feet of storage area. A gift shop, offices, lecture hall, meeting rooms, and a research area complete the museum’s facilities.

    Fritz Wolf was inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) in 1989. Lance Sijan, a WAHF inductee in 2006, is also the subject of a Wisconsin Veterans Museum exhibit.

  • Blackhawk Technical College AMT Program – is it history?

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 John Dorcey No comments

    Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), like many public institutions, is facing financial challenges. The school’s Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program is being targeted for elimination. BTC President Tom Eckert says that eliminating the 62-year-old program will save the school district $367,000. Eckert claims, “While some graduates of the college’s aviation mechanics program get jobs in the district, many move elsewhere to work.” This reasoning seems even more bizzare when it is understood that many students in the program come from outside the district because of the school’s outstanding reputation. For many graduates it is simply a case of moving back home. It is hard to comprehend that graduates moving away to get a job is the reason for a program’s elimination. Surely many graduates of the school’s 60 other programs move away when they graduate or are offered jobs outside of the district.

    Eckert states that he has no choice but to eliminate the program since state funds have been reduced by 30% and levies are capped. But elimination of the AMT program will not solve the budget shortfall. The $367,000 savings pale in comparison to the $4 million increase in the school’s 2011 budget over 2010. More of President Eckert’s thoughts are included in this article.

    A grassroots effort to save the program is underway. Graduates and supporters of the school’s AMT program suggest an across the board cut impacting all programs rather than elimination of a single program. Letters should be addressed to members of the BTC board. The proposal to elminate the program will be presented to the school’s board for consideration at their November 16 meeting. The board will meet at the school’s Beloit campus Eclipse Center, corner of Henry Avenue and Riverside Street, Beloit, WI. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM.

    Many supporters of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) and two of its inductees are BTC graduates. Nine of 17 scholarships presented by WAHF have gone to BTC students.

  • Beechcraft Heritage Museum

    Posted on April 22nd, 2011 John Dorcey No comments

    We have passed through some beautiful country today as we travelled from Birmingham, Alabama, to Tullahoma, Tennessee. The weather has been CAVU with temps in the 70s. Our last leg on this trip has been state highways and we have enjoyed the opportunity to see the Tennessee countryside. We passed a number of other attractions – the last being the Jack Daniels’ Distillery in Lynchburg. We saved the distillery tour for another day.

    Beechcraft Heritage MuseumThe Beechcraft Heritage Museum is located adjacent to the Tullahoma Regional Airport (KTHA). The museum is west of the Runway 36 extended centerline on the airport’s south side. The drive in to the facility was along a shady, tree-lined lane that reminded us of many Wisconsin airports. Began as the Staggerwing Museum Foundation in October 1973, the museum was given its current moniker in April 2007. The current name reflects the organization’s commitment to preserving the heritage of the entire lineage of Beechcraft.

    1932 Model 17R-1

    The museum is made up of a collection of several buildings. Our tour began in the Beech Center. We visited the gift shop and then began viewing the museum’s collection of 24 aircraft. The museum displays two firsts; the first Travel Air (1925, Model 1000) and the first Model 17 Beechcraft Staggerwing (1932, Model 17R-1). Aircraft displays provide plenty of room for close examination. Aircraft are all in pristine condition. Beyond the aircraft collection the museum holds many artifacts of early aviation.

    We spent some time in the Walter H. Beech Hangar studying materials and artifacts of aviation’s Golden Age. We moved on to the Louise M. Thaden Office and Library. Housed in a 100-year-old log cabin, the library contains many artifacts of this early aviatrix. We then made our way back to the Beech Center and the museum’s offices.

    Beechcraft Starship

    Wade McNabb, museum CEO and Curator, joined us for the second half of our tour. He took us through the Bonanza/Baron Museum that also includes a Beech Starship. Wade is an excellent ambassador for the museum and organization. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development created an excellent video on the museum.

    Our tour concluded just in time for a late lunch. Wade made an excellent recommendation – Emil’s. The 1905 home of doctor and former Tullahoma mayor Jack Farrar provides an excellent backdrop for the restaurant. When travelling in the Tullahoma area we recommend you pause for a delightful dining experience at Emil’s.

    The fifth of five aviation museums for our spring vacation proved to be a real gem.

  • Southern Museum of Flight

    Posted on April 21st, 2011 John Dorcey No comments

    Vietnam helicopter exhibit

    The timing of our visit to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama, couldn’t have been better. The grand opening of a new exhibit and diorama was set for this evening. The exhibit, The Vietnam War Helicopters, was the star of the event that included a symposium, music, and light hors d’oeuvres. Nearly 400 Vietnam veterans and their families attended the gala. The exhibit features two aircraft – a Bell AH-1 Cobra and a Hughes OH-6 Cayuse. The OH-6 Light Observation Helicopter was nicknamed “Loach”.  The exhibit depicts the true story of Troop C, 6thCavalry Regiment. We completed our tour of the museum
    before the early evening event.

    Lockheed Y-12

    We started our tour at the outdoor exhibit area, located two blocks west of the museum. The 22 aircraft making up the outdoor exhibit are on the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM). Airport security fence prevents up-close viewing. A rare A-12 Blackbird is among the display aircraft.

    We then moved to the museum proper. Four wings in an X-shape house the museum’s 68,000 square foot facility. A unique feature of the museum is its dioramas. In addition to the new Vietnam Helicopters, dioramas depict the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, defection of Lt. No Kum Soc (Korea), and the Lake Murray B-25. Another diorama about crop-dusting is in the planning stages.

    Radial engines on display

    Aeronca K1 Scout

    The museum displays a nice collection of early general aviation aircraft and radial engines. The museum is also home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame. Biographical plaques tell the stories of those Alabama aviators who made aviation history. Related to the Y-12 aircraft, the CIA’s Project Oxcart is detailed in a museum exhibit.

    The museum has many opportunities for youngsters. They provide four different Alabama School Course-of-Study Tours and workshops for both Girl and Boy Scout badges. In addition, a classroom for hands-on work and a 70-seat theater are available.

    A little off the beaten path, you’ll need to closely follow the plentiful signs directing you to the museum, or use a GPS. A nice aviation museum.