Category Archives: Features

VAHS members took a tour of The Wright Experience

Some VAHS members took a tour of The Wright Experience located near Warrenton, Virginia. Monday, February 25, 2019

From attendees of The Wright Experience tour:

“I’d vote this an experience not to be missed. We learned anyone with  a feel for airplanes, history and the art of meticulous reconstruction
will be delighted here.”

“The group of us today were hosted by founder – and builder of the 1903 replica which was used to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Brothers’ first Kitty Hawk flight – Ken Hyde. Ken and his team near Warrenton have made a world-recognized specialty out of reconstructing Wright gliders, Wright flyers and engines used in the original designs.”

“The Wright Experience ( tour also touches on the many hundreds of man hours of detective work needed to track down and complete these faithful reconstructions. It’s not easy because – fascinatingly – the secretive Wrights published very little data on
what they were up to.”

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget our aeronautical past. But this trip will put anyone back in touch with it – while being filled with admiration for the sheer craftsmanship on display in the workshops.”

Time to Renew Your Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society Membership!

NEW Year’s Day – Time to Renew Your Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society Membership!

Holiday greetings from your friends at the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society. With the new membership year starting on January 1st, 2019, we wanted to tell you about some new initiatives your VAHS is undertaking to make your membership experience better for you, and better for your VAHS. All memberships will be based on the calendar year, January 1st – December 31st.

You may get a renewal notice in January, when you already have a 2019 expiration date. You may pro-rate your renewal or you may give your balance to VAHS as a donation and pay the annual fee for 2019 to end on December 31, 2019. Please call the office, if you have any questions and we will be glad to help you.  540-376-3265.

We have simplified the number of membership categories to the following annual memberships (existing Lifetime memberships will be honored, but no longer available):

Basic membership: $39/year
Student/Active Military membership (new): $29/year
Basic membership plus spouse: $69/year
Sustaining membership (includes spouse): $149/year

What does it mean to step up and be a Sustaining Member of the VAHS?  It means that you identify with the VAHS mission of honoring and publicizing the people and the events of Virginia’s rich aviation history. It means you want to foster the development of Virginia-based civilian, military and general aviation activities and facilities, and the businesses and personnel who support them. It means you want to expose our young people to the abundant and exciting career opportunities in every facet of aviation, here in Virginia and worldwide.

And, for your VAHS, it means you’re willing to provide extra financial support so that we can expand our outreach in all these areas.  It means that you understand that an expanded vision of the past and the future of aviation requires an expanded base of financial support from its supporters.

The Sustaining membership also provides recognition for your commitment. Sustaining Members and their business affiliation will be listed in every issue of the VAHS newsletter Website and will appear in the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony program materials. Sustaining Members will have special identification on VAHS-supplied nametags at special events. The commitment of you and your company will be an encouragement to everyone involved in the mission of VAHS year-round, and a fine reflection on you besides.

We hope you’ll give serious consideration to becoming one of our first Sustaining Members. The support you’ll provide to VAHS will be very significant to our continued progress in this new and exciting phase of our mission. And, with basic memberships and student/active military memberships now available at reduced cost, there’s no reason everyone with a heart towards aviation can’t be a VAHS member.

Now, your VAHS has another special request and opportunity for your consideration when you renew: auto-renewal by credit card. Auto-renewal enables VAHS to set up an annual charge to your credit card at the membership category you select. You will be notified in advance of the charge every year so that you may change your membership category or cancel auto-renew and revert to manual renewals.

This simple step by members has proven vital to other fine member-driven organizations and enables your VAHS to devote less time to administration and more time to the programs, publications and initiatives that matter to you, our VAHS member. The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the VAHS ask and strongly recommend that you that this step. It will be very helpful to you VAHS and it will save you time and effort in the renewing every year.

Your VAHS is moving from an unexpected and challenging time of transition and relocation over the last several years into a period in which we can see our exciting new future taking shape on the EZF aviation campus. Growing our membership in all categories and freeing up officers and staff from annual, intensive periods of renewal-chasing will maximize our resources for the good of all of us.

And here’s a thought: give a holiday (or anytime) gift of membership to a friend or colleague! Let them experience what you already know and love about this unique and historic organization: the bond of the love and enjoyment of Virginia aviation history in all its diverse forms.

Your VAHS needs you, and thanks you for your membership!


Vice President, David Hahn and Treasurer, Frank Lennon step down in 2018

As their time on the VAHS Executive Board draws to a close, we want to express our sincere gratitude for their service. Board service is the toughest volunteer role, and they took on their Board duties with dedication and grace.

More than their amazing ability to connect friends to our organization through our Board meetings, annual meetings and events or their willingness to support every fundraising effort we had, we are most grateful for their active leadership as a judicious steward of our organization. We know they always carefully deliberated on matters before the board or the membership, even when the decisions were difficult.

Not seeking another term was clearly a difficult decision for them, and we respect their decision. A famous peace activist once said, “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.” They are both wise and virtuous, and we are grateful they shared those qualities with us. David, who stepped down earlier this summer was replaced by Ray Gill of Fredericksburg and will remain as a member of the Board. Frank resigned on December 11th. He will be sorely missed by this group and we wish him all the best and look forward to staying in touch with him for years to come.


Commending the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society.

Agreed to by the Senate, March 8, 2018

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society was formed in 1978 to preserve Virginia’s aviation and aerospace history and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s contribution to America’s aviation and aerospace supremacy is unparalleled in the history of the nation, dating to the balloon club at The College of William and Mary in the 1790s and its subsequent balloon launch to the 21st century spaceport at Wallop’s Island, from where rockets regularly launch on resupply missions to the International Space Station; and

WHEREAS, the countless significant historic and current aviation and aerospace accomplishments over the centuries in Virginia and by Virginians are chronicled, researched, taught, published, made known and kept alive by the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society (VAHS) for the benefit of all Virginians and Americans; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society is the sole organization dedicated to this history, which adds to the Commonwealth’s distinction as the most historic state in the nation; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society is comprised of dedicated volunteers from all across the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society founded the Virginia Aviation Museum and brought to it, for the education and benefit of all Virginians, rare and priceless planes and artifacts relating to Virginia history and beyond, including the recovery of one of only 20 remaining SR-71 Blackbirds (the world’s fastest plane) from Edwards Air Force Base, all of which it later donated to the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society is a partner in the establishment of a new aviation museum at Shannon Airport that continues to celebrate Virginia’s aeronautical legacy and future by contributing volunteers, technical advice, and monetary support; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society for 40 years has successfully accomplished its mission to inspire and capture the public’s interest and imagination in all aspects of aviation and aerospace through study, education, research, interpretation, dissemination, display and preservation of artifacts, and ongoing scholarships pertaining to Virginia’s preeminent aviation and aerospace heritage; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society demonstrates its commitment to its mission by maintaining the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, which honors past and present Virginians who have made significant contributions to Virginia and to American aviation and aerospace history; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society promulgates scholarship through its Virginia Eagles quarterly magazine, its special events and its online presence, the Reed I. West Living History Video Project, the VAHS History Makers Speakers Series, and the VAHS Archives, an ever-growing collection of records and images for research; the society is also the primary source for generating aviation and aerospace-related Virginia Historical Highway Markers; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society also works to enhance future generations of Virginia excellence in aviation and aerospace through the Captain Earl Worley Aeronautical Education Scholarship to students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and by working with educators, educational institutions, and industry leaders; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society is respected nationally as a leading state aviation and aerospace historical society for its commitment to the majestic endeavor of flight; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society has, for 40 years, contributed to the cultural and educational enhancement of the Commonwealth of Virginia; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the Senate of Virginia, That the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society hereby be commended on the occasion of its 40th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society as an expression of the Senate of Virginia’s appreciation for the organization’s many contributions to the Commonwealth.

For more information – click here for article.

Toy Airlift Tappahannock-Essex County Airport

Story from Jack Pettigrew, VAHS Member
December 12, 2018

The group taken at Roma’s restaurant in Tappahannock

To those of you who placed toys in the toy collection box in the terminal, participated in the Roma’s dinner, or helped transport the items collected to the Chesterfield County Airport, THANKS.

The toys are distributed to military families who need help providing for their children, many of whom are injured, ill or struggling financially. Toys were picked up by U. S. Army Soldiers from Fort Lee to be delivered to their Holiday Helpers program

This was a very successful event and one that made KXSA shine in the mid-Atlantic region.  Not only did we collect the most toys, we (Greg Wright) provided plane rides to 5 kids and 2 adults, one of whom just happened to be the commanding officer of Lima Company at Fort Lee.  Disembarking Greg’s plane, I personally heard two of the kids say their flight was the best Christmas present they had EVER received.

Coverage of the event was also provided in the Northern Neck Sentinel, Vol 1-Edition 11-Dec 2018.

To all involved, give yourself a pat on the back for a job very well done!

Left to right are Barbara Headley, Jack Pettigrew, Greg Wright, Rusty Acree, Fred Wimberly, Wayne Angola, with soldiers from Lima Company, Ft. Lee, Virginia.


Come visit us at: The Pilot House, 3381 Shannon Airport Circle, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Mailing address: VAHS, Shannon Airport KEZF Campus, PO Box 7795, Fredericksburg, VA 22404-7795
Phone number: 540-376-3265 / Email: