st. louis downtown airport

Museum Hosts Ranken Adventure Academy Class, Young Eagle Flights

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum hosted a class from the Ranken Adventure Academy Friday.  The students toured the museum and gained an understanding of aerospace vehicles and their construction, including a complete F-4 jet cockpit and aircraft projects under construction.  EAA Chapter 64 provided aircraft and volunteer pilots for Young Eagle Flights, ensuring that every student experienced  an interactive flight over the St. Louis area.  Thanks to EAA Chapter, Ideal Aviation and Women With Wings St. Louis for their contributions to making this a great experience for the students and all involved.

Museum Hosts Cahokia, IL Head Start Classes as Part of Airport Activity

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum at St. Louis Downtown Airport hosted 80 Cahokia, IL Head Start students and their teachers Tuesday, offering 3-5 year-old children the chance to explore aviation first-hand.  The children were invited to climb into a Link trainer cab, F-4 Phantom II cockpit and the museum’s Lockheed Jetstar executive jet that was once owned by Howard Hughes.  The children also sat in a PC-12 medical transport “KidsFlight 3″ and a Cessna 172 from west ramp FBO Ideal Aviation.  The airport Fire Department brought their impressive Panther fire truck, always a hit with young and old alike.  The airport will host another 80 children Thursday.

The museum welcomes group visits, though prior arrangements are necessary.  Special thanks to Firefighter Terry Bowman for arranging and coordinating the visits this week.  Photos by museum President, Mark Nankivil.

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Celebrates the Life of Carl “Chub” Wheeler

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum celebrated the life of aviation icon and museum Life Member Carl “Chub” Wheeler who passed away September 17 at the age of 103.   Family and friends of Mr. Wheeler gathered at historic 1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport and spent much of Sunday afternoon visiting and sharing their favorite “Chub” stories.  The museum’s location is especially appropriate, since much of Wheeler’s early aviation activity was centered around the Curtiss-Wright hangars at what was then called Curtiss-Steinberg Airport.

Family and friends of Carl “Chub” Wheeler
gather near a DC-3 at the museum

Much of Wheeler’s aviation career is included in his biography submitted by the museum for his nomination and acceptance to the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014:

“Born in 1911, Chub has seen a century of aviation history unfold during his lifetime. As a young man, Chub was a frequent visitor at Curtiss Steinberg Airport, now known as St. Louis Downtown Airport. He was hired as a line boy, and then learned to fly in an OX-5 powered Curtis Robin, obtaining his pilot’s license in 1935. He purchased the Curtis Robin for $450, and then earned his flight instructor’s certificate.

“The flight instructor’s certificate was just a beginning for Chub. He and partner Bill Hart formed a flying school at Curtiss Steinberg airport and used the Curtis Robin to offer flying lessons. When the Civilian Pilot Training Program was created to train pilots in response to the impending war in Europe, Parks Air College became a training center. Chub became a flight instructor for Parks Air College first as a civilian, and then as a member of the Army Reserves flying PT-13s, PT-17s, PT-19s and PT-23s. He served at all four Parks Air College locations during the war, finally becoming responsible for the operation of their flight school at Cape Girardeau, MO.

“After the war, Chub returned to East St. Louis to become the airport manager at Curtiss-Steinberg airport during 1946 and 1947. He became a corporate pilot flying DC-3s and Beech D-18s for Monsanto Company, later moving on to fly for Peabody Coal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. When the Post-Dispatch transitioned to new equipment in the late 1950s, Chub retired from corporate flying and went to work for the Defense Mapping Agency, Aeronautical Chart and Information Service and finished his flying career with them.

“In retirement, Chub became a founding board member and tireless supporter of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum in Cahokia, Illinois. He has been a frequent speaker to museum and aviation groups, using his personal history and knowledge of aviation in our region to bring the past alive again.”

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum salutes Carl “Chub” Wheeler for a life well lived with these photos from our encounters over the last few years:

Flying the 1929 Ford Trimotor at St. Louis Downtown Airport, Sept. 2011
(Mark Nankivil photos)

100th Birthday, October 2011

Visit to Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum with Daughter Mary Kay, September 2015

Young Eagles Fly During Warm Weather Spell at St. Louis Downtown Airport

The Midwest Aviation community took advantage of unseasonably warm weather February 7 to provide a second opportunity this year to give the next generation the gift of flight.  EAA Chapter 64 and The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum teamed up again to give Young Eagle and Eagle Flights to area residents.  The chapter’s Young Eagle Coordinator, Bob McDaniel, arranged for another warm weekend and four crews to fly about 15 passengers around the St. Louis riverfront from Ideal Aviation’s West Ramp at St. Louis Downtown Airport Saturday.  Here are some scenes from the great day of flying:

 

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour Will Visit the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum July 25-27

The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang Announce Unique Display in Cahokia at St Louis Downtown Airport from July 25 to July 27.  The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour Brings Extremely Rare Bomber and Fighter Aircraft for Local Living History Display as Part of 110-city Tour.

WHAT:  Participating in the Collings Foundation’s WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter, will fly into St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, IL for a visit from July 25 to July 27. This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history. The B-17 is one of only 8 in flying condition in the United States, the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the World. Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out – $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. Discounted rates for school groups. Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. Get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter! P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.

WHERE: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR will be on display at St Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, located at Greater St. Louis air and Space Museum, 2300 Vector Drive.  

WHEN: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR will arrive at St Louis Downtown Airport at 2:00 PM on July 25 and will be on display at Greater St. Louis air and Space Museum at St Louis Downtown Airport until the aircraft departs July 27 after 5:00 PM. Hours of ground tours and display are: 2:00 PM through 5:00 PM on Friday, July 25; 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM on Saturday, July 26; 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 27. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.

WHO: The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is celebrating its 25th year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually. Since its start, tens of millions of people have seen the B-17, B-24 & P-51 display at locations everywhere. The WINGS OF FREEDOM tour is one of the most extraordinary and unique interactive traveling historical displays of its kind.

WHY: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR travels the nation a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. The B-17 & B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend” – saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore very few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-24 & P-51 – and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. At each location we encourage local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around! Visitors can find out more by visiting our website at www.collingsfoundation.org.

Midwest Airport Fun Days Will Take Off from St. Louis Downtown Airport June 7-8

Taking Off June 7 & 8, 2014 At St. Louis Downtown Airport

St. Louis Downtown Airport, Ideal Aviation, the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, EAA Chapter 64 and The Aero Experience present the Midwest’s newest aviation event offering free, family-friendly fun hosted by a thriving airport community!  At Midwest Airport Fun Days, our guests are invited to visit the airport and take part in activities provided through the generous contributions of participants and sponsors from throughout the Midwest.  Planned activities include:

Tour the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examine aircraft on display from St. Louis Downtown Airport and other airports from around the Midwest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience a flight in a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fly in a 1941 Waco Biplane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Aerobatic airshow star Patrick McAlee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth Fly FREE on Sunday

Entertainment from Fanfare and the Ramblers

And MUCH more!
For more information about participating in the event or sponsoring an activity, please contact Carmelo Turdo at FunDays@airandspacemuseum.org.
To assist in the production of the event by contributing to the general expenses, please make a tax-deductible donation to the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum.
Check back often for more details!