Sikorsky S-76 Spirit

The challenge of last winter’s relocation of the office and Models on Display Rooms to doors off the hallway in the back of the Stellar Aviation (FBO) building is that I almost never hear aircraft arriving on the ramp. Sunday, July 23, 2017 was a happy exception to that “norm.” I heard something loud enough to alert me to investigate. A leisurely walk into t he lobby and a glance at the ramp revealed the just-shut-down S-76, and the pilot was exiting just as I approached the fence.

“Is that an A-109?” I asked him.  I knew it wasn’t the Italian Agusta, but it gave him a reason to notice me and he walked over to the fence.

“No, this is  a Sikorsky S-76,” he said. “It’s about  twice the  size of a 109.”

I  told him how the Illinois Division of Aeronautics used to fly a Spirit many years ago, and I always admired the design, asked if I could come out and take some pictures on the ground and of his departure. He graciously assented.

The  pictures shared are presented on a thumbnail grid format. Click on any for a larger image and back to return to the grid.  The last picture is an Agusta A-119  I photographed earlier this year.

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Hubbard Memorial # Wall of Fame

Here are pictures taken by Job Conger during two special events in the terminal building of Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois. The Hubbard Memorial Dedication took  place May 17, 2017, a tribute to Springfield’s only Tuskegee airman, Lyman L. Hubbard, Sr.  The dedication of the Aviation History  Educational Center’s Wall of Fame took place June 25, 2017.

Pictures are thumbnailed here. Click on any for a larger image. All photos are presented courtesy AeroKnow Museum, Springfield, Illinois. For more information about pictures presented here, email Conger at AeroKnow Museum — akm@eosinc.com

Wall of Fame Dedication, June 25, 2017

Lyman L. Hubbard, Sr.  Memorial Dedication – May 17, 2017

The graduate of  Class 45-H served the organization as an instructor pilot for men slated to serve with the 477th Bombardment Group.   He continued his flying career in the U.S. Air Force until retiring in 1970. Anyone with questions about pictures presented here is invited to email Conger at AeroKnow Museum — akm@eosinc.com

C-130 Hercules

I was attending a hangar party on Charlie Ramp (airport’s southwest quadrant) when I looked east and saw a C-130 on the Horizon Aviation ramp. My arrival at AeroKnow Museum, based at Horizon, the next morning happily coincided with the crew of the 130 who offered to  show me their bird.  I have seen many 130s at airshows and a few boarding or deplaning troops, but this was the first opportunity to see and photograph one.

The pictures are shared in a thumbnail grid. Click on any for a larger view and “back” to return to the grid. All pictures were taken by Job Conger.

If you have questions or comments about these pictures, please write to Job Conger — akm@eosinc.com

T-38C Talon’s Memorable Encounters Dedicated to General “Hawk” Carlisle

This T-38C and skilled stickmaster visited Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport over the weekend. I photographed it the night it arrived and once a day, from behind the fence until the day it departed when the pilot saw my clearance lanyard and gave me his permission to stand a safe distance on the ramp. I’m not going to caption anything here. I will be happy to respond to questions and comments shared. This presentation is Dedicated to General Hawk Carlisle, commander Air Combat Command. As I talked with the T-38 pilot’s parents, I learned that their son had been Aide de Camp a few years ago to General Carlisle, whom I had met when he visited AeroKnow Museum in 2015. He was VERY  KIND to AKM and to yours truly. When I asked the pilot of the Talon if I could take pictures of his preparation and departure,, he asked “Where will they go?” I replied “To General Carlisle if I can get them to him.” Suddenly the pilot realized we had a special connection, and so did I.

All pictures were taken by Job Conger, Director, AeroKnow Museum. Publication without permission from the photographer is forbidden. Sharing with friends and associates is encouraged. Pictures are presented as thumbnails. Click on any for a larger image.
March 17, 2017

March 18, 2017

March 19, 2017

March 20, 2017

After Keagan flew  out of sight, his parents Randy and Donna McLeese toured AeroKnow Museum. I asked if they had ever attended Springfield Air Rendezvous during the fabulous air show’s 24 consecutive years. They remembered the event attended in the early 2000s which featured a Harrier flight demo and the Blue Angels. We found that year in our collection of SAR souvenir programs, and I asked if they had ever bought one. They believed they had not. So I gave them one of our extra copies. It was a terrific morning.

February 10 – no pictures

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.

Museum Story Chapter 1

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.

CHAPTER 1
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.
jobgenea 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.
jobatcapaptw. . . . 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.
ak-hist0003
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.

December 12 – early Bonanza

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.
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Xenon gyroplane

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.”

 

Raytheon T-6A Texan II

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!

SNJ-6 of John Schonhorst

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.

Monday afternoon

Tuesday morning