Museum Hosts Local Scouts, Assists with Aviation Merit Badge Activities

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum hosted several hundred Boy Scouts from local troops Saturday during the annual Scout Aviation Day event.  The Scout leaders organized their Scouts into three sessions, each with three groups rotating between the Museum, nearby Parks College flight training facility and the west ramp at Ideal Aviation for orientation flights.  Many of the requirements for the Aviation Merit Badge were accomplished during the visit, which also included a presentation by U.S. Air Force personnel from Scott AFB, although all but 2 of the flights were cancelled due to low clouds and strong winds.  Groups from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Aviation Explorers, schools and other youth groups are invited to experience the Museum during business hours (Friday-Sunday, 10am-4pm) or by appointment.

Museum Participates in Aviation Day at the St. Louis Science Center

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum participated in “Aviation Day” at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium of the St. Louis Science Center Saturday.  The Museum brought it’s BD-5 aircraft for display and set up an F-4 Phantom II cockpit just outside of the Planetarium lobby.  ”Aviation Day,” an event to promote aviation in St. Louis and the premier of the IMAX movie, Air Racers, was well-received by local visitors and included booths staffed by organizations representing the St. Louis aviation community.  Steven Hinton, Jr., Reno air racing champion with Team Strega, was also on hand and posed near the Museum’s BD-5.  Here are some views from the event:

Museum Participates in Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum participated in the 2013 Midwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show (MACTS) held January 26-27 at the Maryland Heights Centre in St. Louis County. The event was sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association and the Missouri Pilots Association.  Day one consisted of a Flight Instructor Revalidation Clinic and aviation safety seminar running concurrently with the trade show.  Day two, “Learn to Fly Day,” featured flight simulators provided by St. Louis Flight Simulator as well as aerospace career specialists from the FAA, Boeing and local FBOs.  Trade show participants included the museum, Ideal Aviation, Air Associates, St. Charles Flying Service, EAA Chapter 32, Missouri Aviation Historical Society and the Ninety-nines, among others.  Carmelo Turdo, museum Board Member and three-time museum representative at the Trade Show, was enthused about being involved with the first major aerospace event of the year.  “MACTS is a great kickoff to the new year in St. Louis area aviation.  I see a lot of familiar faces from organizations we partner with during the year, and I also meet new people who are not familiar with the museum.  It is always gratifying to introduce the museum to a new audience, and especially to encourage young people to participate in aviation through the exhibits and activities provided by the museum in concert with the other organizations here at MACTS.”  In a true spirit of cooperation, exhibitors would refer visitors needing specialty services to another organization’s table if it would better serve that customer.  Here are some scenes from the trade show and “Learn to Fly Day”:
 
 

Museum Receives Portion of A. Paul Vance Memorabilia Collection

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum recently received a large portion of the vast array of memorabilia from the life of renowned aviator and aerospace advocate, the Late A. Paul Vance of Fredericktown, MO.  Mr. Vance’s estate generously donated historically significant items to the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and the Missouri Historical Society for future preservation and display to honor his legacy.

For more information on Mr. Vance, and the dedication of  A. Paul Vance Fredericktown Regional Airport, please visit http://aeroexperience.blogspot.com/2011/08/paul-vance-fredericktown-regional.html.

Below are some views of the museum staff preparing items from the collection for transport from Fredericktown:

Museum Curator Produces Authoritative Work on Washington Park, the First St. Louis Airport

Mr. Jack Abercrombie, Curator for the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, has produced a scholarly work entitled, “Washington Park: The First St. Louis Airport.”  The 18-page article took hundreds of hours of painstaking research to establish the location for the “National Aviation Meet for Novices,” the first event to attract amateur flyers.  Access to the preferred location that would later be known as Kinloch Field in St. Louis County was still pending, and the President of the St. Louis Aero Club, Albert Bond Lambert, searched for a suitable location on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.  Mr. Abercrombie describes the events that culminated in choice of  the Washington Park area outside of East St. Louis, IL for the site:

The year 1910 was the most exciting period in American aeronautical history. It began in January with an international air meet at Dominguez Field near Los Angeles. From there, the spectacles spread throughout the country in a “frenzy” of shows and meets of one kind or another, both small and large. During almost every week, new flight records were established. It has been estimated that a hundred major events were held around the country during the year.

The aeronautical fever captured St. Louis as well. The Aero Club of St. Louis, whose president was Albert Bond Lambert (for whom Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is named), sponsored several events during the last half of the year in efforts to establish St. Louis as the country’s “Air Capital.” Most of the St. Louis events (an International Aero-nautic Tournament, an International Balloon Race, and a National Aero Show) have been well described.  However, the first event of the year has been relatively undocumented, its location undefined, the fact that it even occurred, nearly forgotten—the National Aviation Meet for Novices. This article is intended to shed some light about the location of the event, the aeroplanes, and the pilots (or aspiring pilots), as well as the aftermath.

The entire article will be published on the museum’s website http://www.airandspacemuseum.org/education.html in the near future.

Museum’s BD-5 on Display at St. Louis Community College St. Louis Aerospace Institute

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum has placed its BD-5 aircraft on loan to the St. Louis Aerospace Institute, and it is now on display in the lobby of the Center for Workforce Innovation.  The St. Louis Aerospace Institute is a collaborative effort between St. Louis Community College, industry partners and the Department of Labor.  Initially planned as a training program for prospective Boeing Company assembly workers, the program has gained additional partners and has blossomed into an aerospace production training center featuring these current hands-on courses: Mechanical Blueprint Reading, Basic Aerospace SMAR Training,  Intermediate Aerospace SMAR Training, Aerospace Assembly: Electrical, Mechanical and Composites.  A Certificate of Specialization in Skilled Trades Industrial Occupations Technology is available upon completion of required curriculum.  Current industry partners include The Boeing Company, Essex Industries, GKN Aerospace, St. Louis Business Aviation Association, Kemco Aerospace Manufacturing, LMI Aerospace, Jet Aviation, Sabreliner Corporation, Pattonville High School, St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board, St. Louis Public School District, and Ritenour High School.  The faculty and staff at the St. Louis Aerospace Institute hosted a large contingent of EAA Chapter 64 members recently (many of which also are members of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum), providing a tour of the facility and a special discussion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that included a power-up demonstration of several scale radio-controlled aircraft built and flown by Mr. Jack Beetz, professor of carbon fiber fabrication and assembly.  For more information about the St. Louis Aerospace Institute, please visit http://aerospace.stlcc.edu/.  Special thanks to Mr. Paul Voorhees, assembly instructor, Ms Becky Epps, Program Manager, Mr. Jack Beetz and the entire staff.

Aerospace Community Mourns the Loss of Rose Church, “Flight Nurse to the Astronauts”

The aerospace community mourns the recent loss after a brief illness of our dear friend, Mrs. Rose Church, the “Flight Nurse to the Astronauts” during the budding Mercury and Gemini spacecraft programs at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis, MO.  Starting out as an industrial nurse at McDonnell Aircraft in the early 1950s, she essentially created the job of flight nurse for the space program when McDonnell Aircraft became the prime contractor for Mercury and later Gemini spacecraft.  Her work brought such esteem from the astronauts, many of whom went on to the Apollo program, and the NASA hierarchy that she was invited to the last Space Shuttle launch as a VIP guest nearly 50 years later.  She continued to educate the public about the space program after leaving McDonnell and during her second career in real estate, and was a life member of, and generous contributor to, the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia.  She will be remembered not only as an aerospace pioneer, but even more so as a lady who showed kindness and service to all she encountered.  Rose Church dreamed of going to the moon – her plan was a one-way colonization mission for older folks – but those who knew her are confident that she is now far beyond the moon, touring the universe with the One who created it.

For more information about Rose Church, please visit the previous posting on The Aero Experience http://aeroexperience.blogspot.com/2011/07/rose-church-flight-nurse-to-mercury-and.html and the Missouri Historical Society’s biography page at http://www.historyhappenshere.org/archives/7300.

 

 

 

 

 

Museum Hosts Car Show and Halloween Party at Historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum hosted members of Rust is NOT a Crime (http://rustisnotacrime.com) and the Rival House Garage (http://rivalhousegarage.com) for a Halloween party at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 today.  A variety of cars were featured, and Safe Kids car seats were available for those families needing this important safety device.  The clubs raised money for several charities, including the museum, and enjoyed a sunny but chilly day at the museum.  Member Dave Corbitt posted on Facebook: “I guess a special thanks is due to the St.Louis Air and Space Museum. Be sure to spread the word to you friend to support this volunteer run organization. They are good people and deserve our help in passing the word along.”  Thanks Dave!

Here are some photos of today’s event:

 

Museum Open House and Fly-In Offers High-Flying Adventure

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and EAA Chapter 64 held its Fall Fly-In Saturday, offering a new way to experience aviation history – flights in a 1941 Waco and a T-6 Texan warbird.  The event was held Saturday near historic Curtiss-Wright Hangars 1 and 2, with the museum and EAA aircraft on display.  Other organizations, such as IPMA, SWIC, Wicks Aircraft Supply, St. Louis Flight Training and the Lions Club were represented and provided information about their services to the community.  The most dramatic impact on the visitors, the aircraft flying overhead, was an added bonus this year.  The museum is proud to include Kevin Kegin’s Waco UPF-7 (http://kevinkeginamericanwarbird.com/) and Greg Vallero’s AT-6F Texan (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Warbird-Rides-USA/180169395331362?v=info) in it’s activities on a regular basis.  We encourage you to visit the museum during regular open hours of Friday-Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, and contact Kevin and Greg for your flight in these beautifully restored 1940s era aircraft.

For a posting on the Metro site, please visit http://www.nextstopstl.org/7145/.

Check back often for our event updates.

Saturday Fly-In and Museum Open House Features Fall Family Fun

EAA Chapter 64 and Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Fall Fly-In October 6 at St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS),    8am-4pm

Visit one of two 1929 Curtiss-Wright hangars on the national historic building register

Pancake breakfast and barbeque lunch available

Meet Zenith Aircraft President Sebastien Heintz and check out the latest designs

Visit the Wicks Aircraft and Motorsports table and register for attendance prizes

Meet Brian “Brain” Kissinger, 3-time record holder in light sport aircraft

See a variety of homebuilt aircraft on display – RVs, Fly Babies, Zeniths – and the rare Parks P-1

Fly around St. Louis in a 1941 Waco biplane piloted by Kevin Kegin

Fly in a T-6 Texan Warbird with pilot Greg Vallero

Get your picture taken in a real F-4 Phantom II fighter jet cockpit

Talk to Parks College flight school representatives and check out their Diamond training aircraft

Meet with IPMA members and experience plastic model making at its best

Authentic Link Trainer demonstrations conducted in the museum hangar

Youth can show their skills in a computer flight simulator and 3-axis moving children’s simulator

Children can get their picture taken in an F-117 Stealth Fighter cockpit (1/3 scale)

Free eye screenings will be provided by the Lions Club

See you there!