Fri, Feb 10 — In at 9:15, Wore another aviation tie to AKM. My desk is still a MESS. No time to clean it up this morning. Not happy with the rearranging from last night so I did a lot of heaving pushin without bothering to take drawers out. When I began using the copier across the hall, it jammed. Now it’s unusable until the jam is cleared. Tried but failed. Wore my aviation tie to employer too and did okay there finessing the sorting of British aircraft articles, clips and scraps. Spent the entire evening in the office doing almost nothing worthwhile. I MUST SPEND EARLY MORNING TIME HERE SATURDAY and accomplish something. Out the door at 7:45 after a “C-minus” day.
INTRODUCTION — I hope that with pictures and the story of how the museum I first named AIRCHIVE came all the way to Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport over the course of 40 years and why you should help AeroKnow Museum find a new home before we lose the home we have and we both disappear. More about all that as I share the story. Please return to this blog, follow it, support AeroKnow Museum as you are inclined.
I cannot remember a time as a young child BEFORE I became fascinated by airplanes. I was interested in many things as a child. I wrote my first short story before I started attending kindergarten at Lawrence Elementary School in Springfield. I loved ducks, dogs, music, swimming and was very interested in girls, though exactly why would remain hard to explain for the first 12 years or so. My parents reminded me, as I grew into a youngster who could take a picture, that when I was an infant in my mothers arms, a family friend, CPA Bill van Meter took the three of us for a short spin around the city in his new Cessna 195. They said I cried from the instant the big round Jacobs radial roared to life, through the entire flight until we had taxied back to the hangar and Mr. van Meter turned off the motor. Mom and Dad may have exaggerated but not by much. Through grade school. we would often go out to the airport and watch the airplanes fly. I loved every minute, but I never wanted to fly. The first picture is of me shaking hands with singer/movie star Gene Autry in the airport parking lot. Dad took the picture. Mr. Autry was in town to appear at the Illiinois State Fair.
The following pcture is of me on the ramp in front of Hangar 1. That hangar today is 20 feet from where I’m writing these words.
. . . . I had begun building plastic model airplanes in second grade. The first kit I built was the Hawk (manufactured) model of a MiG-15. Our next door neighbors, the Bruningas had a son my age. I gave him his first model kit, an Aurora kit of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero for his birthday. I had friends in grade school who loved planes too: Alan Sherman, Bobby Briggle and Jeff Halden. I spent a lot of time in Miss Allen’s second grade class drawing airplanes when I should have paid more attention to Miss Allen who was beautiful.
. . . . .One summer during the years I attended Benjamin Franklin Junior High, Dad and I were standing at the fence watching the airplanes when Bill Castor, owner of some local grocery stores, a friend of Dad’s, came to us and invited us to go flying with him down to Lambert Field in St. Louis where he had to pick up a small package at the airline terminal. Instantly I remembered being afraid of flying and almost as instantly decided not to be afraid of flying anymore. Dad sat up front in Mr. Castor’s Cessna 172, and I strapped in in back. It was a wonderful trip. Every flight I’ve taken since has been wonderful too.
. . . . . . Junior high friends were friends I would cherish well into the years. Jim Richardson was a wonderful friend who began building flying models with friends Mike Evoy, Phil Arndt, Gary Baldwin, Joe Berger formed a flying model club. Mine were never as successful as those my friends built, but in addition to trying and failing to EVER successfully fly a control line model and getting into tow line free flight models (some success there) I was “the official photographer” though I didn’t realize it at the time and we all had great tun.
. . . .. . . Tadd Baumann built plastic models, and his dedication and skill with the early Aurora 1/48 kits of World War One airplanes inspired me. We were true pals i the best sense of term well into the years also. While attending Franklin I began buying model airplane magazines and reading them until they wore out. Many of the first were relegated to trash, but early on I began removing pictures and articles I wanted to save to enjoy later. By the time I was attending Springfield High, Mom gave me a five drawer file cabinet. It’s part of AeroKnow Museum today.
. . . . . .High school and early college passed incredibly quickly. Aviation became a necessary second fiddle to girls and growing up. Still I kept buying magazines, books, building plastic models. When I first moved away from home, Mom and Dad kept my things safe. Afterr renting a nice duplex at 822 S. MacArthur with a friend, Allan (can’t remember his last name) whom I knew from Lum’s Restaurant where we worked, I began moving things from 2016 S. Whittier into my bedroom.
Here are the first pictures taken of me getting SERIOUSLY serious about airplanes.
This chapter concludes in 1974. My life would mandate a return home to be with my recently divorced mom in 1977 after I accidentally broke a bone in my left foot. I would remain home less than a year before moving to a new apartment on north 5th Street where I had significant space for myself, aviation and a consistently wonderful life as a red-hot lover. More ab out that in Chapter Two, coming soon.
Please support AeroKnow Museum. Write to me in the comments or email me — Job Conger if you want to visit AKM at the airport or just meet with the museum founder/director who would very much like to meet you as well.
Thanks for reading this post.
This post was place here by accident Tuesdaya, December 13. It should have been posted at my blog AeroKnow Day to Day — the daily activity blog . . . . but on Wednesday, after I discovered my error, I decided to leave it here after re-posting it where I should have posted it Tuesday to give visitors to this AKM Gallery of Flight a sample of Day to Day.
————– Mon, Dec 12 — The Melatonin I took last night kept me asleep for the duration. I awoke about 7:50 and took truck to service the vehicle’s heater. Arrived at AKM at 9:05. Picked up truck about 11 and stopped at bank to deposit pay check from employer and discovered it had NOT BEEN SIGNED. I’ll have to give it back to George who will have to take it home to his wife to sign and with luck, will have it back and deposited by THURSDAY. DANGIT! Processed some pictures in office and went up to Building and Research Rooms at 12:30 where I worked until lunch from Subway at 2:00. Processed and organized digital pictures taken in 2015 until 4. Went up to Building/Research Rms. Worked on B-58. It’s ready to display now. Also painted canopy and prop of Ju-87G, started masking and painting canopies for B-45. Filed and organized files in ResRm. Began preparing a file cabinet there since the beginning to bring to WelcRm for storing disks of digital ac photos. This means temprarily putting some foreign ac files into storage boxes until we get another file cabinet. Returned DOWN about 7:45, tired and very satisfied with the day. Watched a lot of news reports on Fb about what’s happening in D of C. Pretty scary. Went home at 9:05. It was a “B” day.
Pictured below is an early Bonanza at Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois sometime after 1953 when the Cessna 180 behind it entered production. The hangar, then operated by Capitol Aviation had been dedicated in 1947. This picture is part of the AeroKnow Museum collectiion, photographer unknown.
Owner John Salz, Springfield, Illinois treated Job Conger to a flight around the pea patch in his2007 Xenon gyroplane, designed by a French engineer and manufactured in Poland by Celier Aviation. It has a 100 hp Rotax 912ULS engine. During our encounter, he explained “Gyros fly very much like a fixed-wing airplane because most gyros don’t have a collective control, like a helicopter. When you’re doing 60 to 65 knots at tree-top level, you really feel like you’re flying very fast, and gusty winds have little effect on it. When I first started flying mine, I thought ‘This is as close to flying an F-16 as I’m ever going to get!'”
Most of John’s flying the Xenon has been trips from 100 to 200 miles. “I’ve always loved low and slow,” he says. “I knew I’d never have time to build a gyroplane, so I started looking at factory-built machines until I chose this one.” John soloed in the gyro in the summer of 2009, and flies as often as time permits. “It cruises about 70 knots, and he plans for a fuel consumption of 6 gph. I usually file flight plans for 65 knots and get 5 to 5.5 for a comfortable 3.5 hour range. I’ve taken off in as little as 100 feet and landed in about 50.”
These pictures were taken Saturday, November 5, 2016 following the arrival of two T-6s with student pilots and IPs from Vance AFB, Oklahoma. I was escorted on the ramp by a very courteous, enthusiastic student front seater who aims to fly left seat in C-17s which he admires greatly. He explained that the USAF is eliminating the nose-to-tail red stripe which has been part of the T-6 since they were first delivered to the USAF. It was great to meet him and his squadron mates!
I was delighted to meet John Schonhorst and passenger US Navy veteran Bob May who visited Springfield in late afternoon October 31, 2016. I understand from Greg Vallero, who taught John how to fly this Texan, that JS is veteran pilot with two military services and more. Bob — believe it or not — soloed for the first time in a US Navy SNJ on October 31, 1956! He went graduated into TO-1, F9F Panther, FJ-4A and B, A4D (as they were called in 1961) and F8U Crusader! He’s the gent with sunglasses and the cane. What stories he could tell! I had just a few minutes with him while JS was paying for the fuel. John visited AeroKnow Museum briefly and promised to return. Bob did not see AKM but said he hopes to see it when he can. To give maximum impact to the pictures taken October 31 and about 9:00 am November 1 and are shared in a thumbnail grid. Click on any for a larger pic., I’m not captioning these. I’ll be happy to answer questions and read your comments.
AeroKnow Museum recently moved our WELCOME Room which we occupied for more than six years to a new location that includes the new WELCOME Room and an adjoining Models On Display Room. Things are still being arranged as this post comes together, Look for pictures of the new rooms in a future AKM Gallery of Flight.
Please read the introduction to Part 1 to understand what I’m doing here.
The Commemorative Air Force AIRPOWER TOUR began arriving at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Monday, August 8, 2016. Their C-45, PT-13 and T-34 were first on the ground; the B-29 arrived a little after 1:00. This series of Gallery posts will present every picture I thought of acceptable quality. To better serve visitors each installment will “focus” on each CAF aircraft starting with the Beech C-45. Additional galleries will feature additional aircraft photographed when I was on the ramp during the CAF visit, and a final installments will share broad views showing CAF activity and a display of a restored US Army Jeep and a one-morning display by a local re-enactor’s organizaion.
Sincere THANKS to the Commemorative Air Force whose visiting personnel grated me “carte blanche,” permission to AeroKnow Museum and me to photograph their priceless aircraft when they were present at our airport and away from the airport as well. Without their most generous cooperation, many of the pictures you will see in this series, posted every six or seven days, would not have been possible.
Pictures were taken by Job Conger, Director AeroKnow Museum, and are shared in a thumbnail grid format, up to 25 pictures at a time. Click on any for a larger image and back to return to the mosaic. Questions and comments are welcome.
If you like what you see here, please support AeroKnow Museum.
These pictures were taken the morning of August 4. As with they August 3 post, they are presented in a thumbnail grid. Click on any for a larger picture. All photos by Job Conger, founder/director AeroKnow Museum.
This former US Navy GB-1 (what the USN VIP transport Staggerwings where called) visited Springfield August 3. Pictures taken August 4 will posted in part 2 of this series of 2 next Thursday. I was privileged by pilot Pat Napolitano to photograph it on the ground the overcast early afternoon when it arrived and the sunny morning when it took off. I did not obtain any photos of the panel or interior other than what you see here. I didn’t want to inconvenience the cordial visitor. Pictures are presented here in thumbnail format. Click on any for the full picture. If you have questions, additional information about this aircraft or questions, please contact photographer Job Conger at AeroKnow Museum, Springfield, Illinois — firstname.lastname@example.org Sincere thanks to Pat Napolitano, Regional Service Representative for MidContinent Instruments + Avionics of Wichita, Kansas for courtesies extended to yours truly and AeroKnow Museum.