Rose Parrakeet

We are thrilled to announce that Larry Steenstry of Elkhorn, Wisconsin has donated his original homebuilt Rose Parrakeet to the Kelch Aviation Museum. Based on the 1929 design, Larry built the ship in 1996 and has won numerous award at midwestern fly-ins over the years. Always the brave barnstormer, Larry

Continue reading

Ami & Hannah’s Blooper Reel Challenge

$3K Blooper Reel Fund Drive: Thought Ami’s videos were goofy? Loved Hannah’s outrageous extras? Well, hang on to your hats (and get out your wallets): For our winter fund drive challenge, Ami & Hannah will release their long-awaited, much-requested Blooper Reel – but only once we raise $3,000. Trust us,

Continue reading

Explore the History of Aviation!

Doesn’t little Charlie look great in her new aviation helmet? We love sharing aviation with folks of all ages, and our kids area is full of hands-on activities for everyone. Come find yourself a helmet, enjoy our book collection, and explore the history of aviation! The museum is open 10am

Continue reading

The Untold Story Of Bernard Pietenpol and Westy Farmer

On this date in 1901, Bernard H. Pietenpol was born. Considered the grandfather of the homebuilt airplane movement, BHP designed his 2-seat “Air Camper” in 1928 and powered it with a simple Ford Model A car engine. Watch Kelch Aviation Museum Archivist Hannah Shickles present “The Untold Story Of Bernard

Continue reading

Photography Archive

Take a peek into the museum’s photography archive with this beautiful unpublished large-format negative, donated by Pat Sparling! Our team first identified the aircraft as a Monocoupe model 70, but records indicate it is an earlier Monocoupe model 22 with a 60 h.p. Detroit “Air-Cat” engine, likely built in 1928.

Continue reading

Black History in Aviation

John C. Robinson, the Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, poses with a 1928 Alexander Eaglerock at the Waukegan Illinois flight school, Lake County Airways, in 1929. Robinson was a pioneering aviator and activist who went on to form the renowned aviation school for Black pilots at the Tuskegee Institute in

Continue reading

Name the Plane!

Name the plane! We had an amazing set of pictures donated today by Rick Schneider of Brodhead. His father Rudy was an Army mechanic before WWII and took a lot of pictures of the aircraft he worked on. While we don’t normally concentrate on military aviation, this batch of local

Continue reading

Waukegan Air Show of 1932

Here we see the Waukegan (Illinois) Air Show of 1932. Just think, all the airplanes in this picture are brand new! How many aircraft can you identify? Large format negative scan donated by Pat Sparling.

Continue reading

Major Grant from Wagner Foundation Enables Phase III Construction

The Kelch Aviation Museum at Brodhead Airport is proud to announce the start of construction on its Phase III museum building project. Construction of “The Dick and Bobbie Wagner Atrium” is only possible due to a very generous financial commitment by The Wagner Foundation of Lyons, Wisconsin. The Wagner’s connection

Continue reading

Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday! Here’s a shot of our namesake Al Kelch, circa 1970, posing in stylish trousers with the 1932 Franklin Sport 90 “Old Double Trouble.” The plane now lives at the Kelch Aviation Museum; Al’s plaid trousers have been lost to time.

Continue reading