Notice: this article has been reproduced as originally published.
As an "old" member of Air Classics Inc. Museum of Aviation I have put together a brief history of the Museum. In 1990, five pilots flying out of "The Landings" in Huntley, IL, incorporated Air Classics as a Museum. Three of the five are now deceased. The other two are Rod Kath (President) and Larry Matt (Director). In 1991, Memberships were solicited and in February, 1992 the first general Membership meeting was held. Those present at that meeting were considered "Founding Members". Back then, for $25, we had paid up dues and received a neat shirt - now we have to pay for the shirts on our backs!
The Museum has been granted a "Public Charitable Corporation" status by the IRS. The Army, Airforce, Navy and Marine Corp has authorized the Museum to be a recipient of Military Aircraft and related equipment.
"Preserving the Dream" is the Museum Motto. The Museum is committed to not only educating young and old, but to be Conservators of Aircraft and Aviation Memorabilia. WE have participated in the DuPage Air Show and holds Open House, as well of hundreds of tours each year. We conduct tours for the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub scouts, Brownies, Schools, Day Cares - you name it!! In 1996, over 25,000 people visited the Museum and about 8,000 attended the Autumn Open House.
At present, we have "Flights" working on an A7-E Corsair that we had flown in the Gulf War and we have just finished painting a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, similar to the one flown by "Butch" O'Hare during World War II. The Wildcat will be displayed in Terminal 2 at O'Hare, thanks to Grants received by the Museum.
Most of the members are not pilots - they just love being around and working on old airplanes. Two of our youngest members (12 and 13 years old) recently received Presidential Citations at the IAC competition at Aurora Airport. One of the two even took his Young Eagles flight in a Sailplane.
So, as our Motto goes, we're just a bunch of guys "Preserving the Dream"