Ray-Ban ad

I had no idea that Ray-Ban sunglasses (or should I say sun goggles?) were around in 1939 – but here’s an ad from that year’s Aero Digest. Those pilots certainly look dapper – and like they might fit in in 1975!

This original vintage magazine, along with hundreds of others, is preserved in our archive & library. Your donation to the Archive Fund will help ensure treasures like this are safe – and publicly accessible – for years to come. Donate today!

On This Day: Wright Flyer’s First Flight!

On this day in 1903, the Wright brothers made the first four flights in the Wright Flyer – achieving the first ever controlled, sustained flight in a powered, heavier-than-air machine with a pilot aboard. And just like that, the aerial age began.

“There is no sport equal to that which aviators enjoy while being carried through the air on great white wings. More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost if you can conceive of such a combination.”
– Wilbur Wright

The Wright Flyer in 1903

Achieving the Impossible

“Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” – Eddie Rickenbacker

With your help we’ve done what seemed impossible: We’ve raised over a million dollars for a new museum building. We’re in the final stages of our campaign. Donate today and join us in preserving the magic and technology of the Golden Age of Aviation!

Eddie Rickenbacker

The Sky is the Limit

“To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.” – Jerry Crawford

When we started fundraising for our $1.3 million campaign, it felt as risky and challenging as wing walking! Yet with your help we’ve come so far, and we’re nearly 80% funded.

Please consider donating now and joining us. We have some amazing thank-you premiums, too, and they make perfect gifts… Learn more and donate today!

Earl S Daugherty’s barnstormer team proving that the sky is the limit, circa 1923

Holiday Air Mail

The holiday season means it’s time to mail out oodles of greeting cards! Airmail was one of the most important developments in early aviation, spurring on the pioneering of routes and technology. Here at Kelch Aviation Museum, we have an original 1927 Travel Air 4000, used for airmail delivery in the early days. Imagine popping your envelope into a mail bag in the front cockpit! Brr!

Katherine Stinson, pioneering aviatrix

On this day in 1917, Katherine Stinson flew 606 miles from San Diego to San Francisco, setting a new American non-stop distance record. At a time when men dominated the flying world, Katherine was the 4th American woman to receive a pilot’s license.

Read more about Katherine Stinson in this great article.

One of the coolest things about early aviation history are all the amazing women aviators. Groundbreaking, courageous, ahead of their time – these women continue to inspire us today. Your support ensures the continued education and inspiration of future aviators (and aviatrixes!) for generations. Join us and donate today!

Popular Aviation, February 1937

A lovely bit of magazine cover art: The Beechcraft B17-L, on Popular Aviation, February 1937.

Though many people nowadays don’t know much about vintage aviation, the sight of a biplane still captures almost everyone’s imagination, and the dream of flight is still an inspiration. Join us in keeping the magic of the Golden Age of Aviation alive this holiday season!

With your donation, we come one step closer to opening the doors of our new building and inspiring generations to come! kelchmuseum.org/donate

December 7 Remembrance

December 7th is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Here’s a photo of Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6), the Douglas SBD “Dauntless” Dive Bombers present that day.

Last Big Piece

The last big piece of the new museum hangar was installed yesterday, the big overhead door for our collection of vintage cars. Now on to the interior work!

Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday! Join us in keeping the legends and magic of the Golden Age of Aviation alive and flying! With your support and enthusiasm, the sky is the limit.

To make it even more awesome, Facebook will be matching / doubling all donated funds today, on Giving Tuesday.

You can donate online through Facebook or through our website at kelchmuseum.org. This holiday season, we’re offering some extra-special premium thank-you gifts, so hop on over to the website for more info!