It’s Coming Together


Executive Director of Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Mark Hanna at AeroKnow Museum, Springfield, Illinois

At the end of three months since we began moving the AeroKnow collection into the AeroKnow Museum offices at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, it appears that the move, assisted by friends and a part-time employer, will be completed just in time for Springfield Illinois’ busy winter tourist season. Remaining are eight filing cabinets emptied earlier of files and drawers and some cabinets of shelves waiting at a closed pharmacy that remains operating as an antique store.

This blog’s address notes the connection to the AeroKnow Museum, and the name of the blog is the name of the support organization for the Museum. Abraham Lincoln was the first US president to approve federal funding for an “air force” when he authorized the engagement of an exhibition balloonist to observe Confederate troop movements. When you join Abe Lincoln’s Air Force by sending $15 (or more), payable to AeroKnow,  to
AeroKnow Museum
900 Capital Airport Dr.
Springfield, IL 62707
you will receive a membership card and individually numbered and printed membership certificate, suitable for framing. You will receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter which we will launch when we obtain 100 members. After all the moving and arranging are done, members of Abe Lincoln’s Air Force will be allowed access to the research files and model airplane kit collection nearby. Many models in 1/32, 1/48, 1/72 and 1/144 scales and model kits dating back to the 30s are on public display now.

membership certificate suitable for framing

membership card, suitable for wallet or purse

As days pass before promised additional help with trucks and additional hands arrives, I’m settling into a routine that maintains progress with AeroKnow aviation history research as well as fostering outreach to the limited public sector: general aviation pilots and passengers based in town and transients flying Cessna 170s to G450s in and out of the Capital City. The routine involves indexing aviation magazines recently donated to AeroKnow: logging, by each issue, articles featured in each at least one page long, indicating pictures, color pictures, 3-views, profile illustrations, model airplane kit reviews and more. That information is cross-indexed by subject.  Anyone wanting a list of articles about F-100 Super Sabres can know, in fairly short order where, in published references on hand articles are. We have not set up the almost 20 file cabinets of loose articles about topics covered also in the indexes. They will be set up as time and support permit.  I’ll tell you more about the routine in the next posting.

Cessna 310 charter pilot Joe Kobiela from Auburn, Indiana visited AeroKnow Museum in early August.

We need another 10 four-drawer filing cabinets to properly present filed resources. If you can’t send us one or two, please consider a check that will help bring them aboard. As soon as the file cabinets on hand are moved in and arranged, pictures will be posted here.

We will not widely promote the Museum until the move is complete and resources are arranged. But we also know it’s hard to support what you cannot see. Anyone is welcome to visit when I’m there. If you see the light on, come on in and say hello. If you’re visiting the FBO (fixed base operator) that hosts the Museum, ask for Rob Fisher. If he’s available, he will be happy to show you around.

A supporter has agreed to be on hand starting in late September at least one day a week, working in the office and welcoming visitors while I continue to arrange Museum resources elsewhere at the airport. I’ll introduce her next month. If you would like to volunteer, let me know.

This blog will focus on the Museum and why we hope you will support it. I will also post pictures of aircraft and pilots passing through KSPI, who visit and give permission to take pictures.

May your skies be CAVU and may you always return, softly, to home.

Job Conger, Founder/Director AeroKnow Museum

About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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