I’ll File Away


AeroKnow Museum Research Room


When I try, Hallelujah bye and bye, I’ll file away. I’m getting into a routine at AeroKnow Museum. I stay in the public area downstairs until 5:30 because most pilots returning to the airport to depart for distant destinations have come back by that time. Local pilots usually are out of the FBO offices by 4:30. When I head up to the Model Kit Collection (AKMKC) and Research Room (AKRR) to work, I always leave a sign on my open door downstairs inviting visitors to come up and visit, and I always tell Beth, or Jamie or Josh, or Dan at the counter where I will be. It would be great if a volunteer could cover the office (there’s always something to do there) while I am UP, but we’re early in the game here, and I am confident volunteers will happen.

Until the upstairs rooms are ready for members of Abe Lincoln’s Air Force, the museum will not be ready for “prime time PUBLIC visitors,” so in my new routine, I work UP until 7 or 8. As progress is made, I imagine I will be working even later as momentum and enthusiasm grow.

So many files, so little time.

Pictured here are files of clippings about airplanes, projected airplanes from all over the world. Also in the room are file cabinets with static and flying model airplane (and accessory – paints, glue, engines) articles, advertisements, model techniques, engine reviews, kit reviews and more.
I intended to include files of thousands of articles about aviation people, combat groups, aviation history (events, battles, famous flights), airlines, airports worldwide, manned space, air racers and air racing, museums . . . and more. I also intended to include articles about thousands of homebuilt aircraft of all countries in a separate room now used for storage. Sunday I decided that homebuilt aircraft files will be shared in the Research Room, and the collateral files will be maintained in the storage room. The collateral files will go to storage, and they will be accessible free of charge to all visitors as I have time to visit the rooms and bring down requested files, and members of Abe Lincoln’s Air Force will be able to spend escorted time in these rooms.


The other side of the Research Room.


Saturday night, the sun was setting and through the open window, the sound of a United Express CRJ was wafting into the Research Room as I was getting things organized; with it the aroma of Jet A fuel, probably from the FBO ramp nearby. That was when I understood there is no place in the world of aviation museums when I — or a visitor — can savor moments like this, and I wished I could share at least a picture of the view.


View north from the Research Room: the terminal and a CRJ taken through the open window.


The screen is a problem. Sometimes the autofocus camera focuses on the wrong thing.


The screen is not my friend.


I am making progress with the filing. After thousands of articles previously culled from publications are placed into the new arrangement, I will begin fine-tuning it, making sure there are no P-51 files in P-51H folders, adding folders for lesser-known airplanes.

There are no file cabinets in the storage room where the other material is heading. I don’t even have storage boxes for it all. If you feel these articles should be kept as they should be, please consider donating four- or five-drawer file cabinets or the funds to permit their acquisition.

Meanwhile in the office, we still need to purchase double the Plate Glass display shelves and concrete blocks to MAXIMIZE the display of a small portion of the built models on hand to the public in the downstairs office. The office must be public ready before I begin major outreach to the Springfield community and supporters beyond. You, the reader of this blog, are on the inside track. Some would consider it nifty to be on the inside track. Your support will facilitate a faster arrival where we need to be.

Thanks for your consideration.

CAVU and happy landings.

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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