grass runways, became known as hub for vintage airplanes. Al moved his collection there, and established a trust to keep the planes accessible to the public and to provide scholarships for aviation careers. In 2012 things started moving toward the vision for the Kelch Aviation Museum. With their non-profit status in place, the group hired Pat Weeden as executive director and purchased 2.5 acres of land adjacent to the airport. “We’re only a museum because we say we are,” says Pat, who is leading the charge on a $1 million dollar capital campaign. With donations and pledges in place, about half has been raised for a 25,000 square foot building which will bring all the aircraft under one roof. Plans include regular hours, docents, and an ambitious curriculum of educational programming. “There’s an art to maintaining these old planes, and we have a golden opportunity to pass these skills on from local mechanics to the next generation,” says Pat, who also points to other teaching applications involving engineering and physics. The oldest in the collection is Al’s 1927 Travel Air 4000. At the time it was built, airplanes as we know them had only been around about ten years. “They were inventing stuff as they went along,” says Pat, who points out that the core of the collection represents engineering milestones of the era – the golden age of aviation. The best part of this museum is that all the aircraft can be flown. “It’s one thing to see it just sitting there,” says Pat, “but another thing entirely to see it fired up and buzzing the airport.” As of print time, tours are available by appointment only. Follow Kelch Aviation Museum on Facebook for updates. Contact Pat at 608.897.1175 if you’d like to visit, or if you’re interested in furthering the cause with a donation to the capital campaign.
when his uncle bought a plane and flew it to his nephew’s hometown in Iowa. Despite Uncle Percy’s crash landing, Al was hooked. By high school he was taking flight lessons. As an inventor and manufacturer in the 1950’s, Al was a pioneer in development of the process to cast aluminum molds for plastic injection, and is credited with the birth of the orange traffic cone.
Cheese Trays - Gift Boxes - Over 100 Varieties of Cheese Great Cheese at Great PriCes
Stop in for: • Grilled cheese sandwiches - made to order • Hand-dipped ice cream
KELCH AVIATION MUSEUM
AwArd winning ChAmpion wisConsin Cheese • World Champion Muenster • U.S. Champion Havarti • Wisconsin State Fair Winner • Cheese Days Grand Champion Winner
Jeff Beyer, president of Kelch Aviation Museum and Greg Heckman, mechanic and pilot - with the museum's 1929 Stearman C3B.
What do the creator of the ubiquitous orange traffic cone and a WWII pilot have in common? Both are part of the backstory of a new venture getting its wings this year in Brodhead. As a young boy, Al Kelch became enamored with airplanes and aviators
The Brodhead Airport dates back to 1946, when B-24 bomber pilot Major Bill Earleywine returned home from the war and rented a field south of town as a base for flight instruction and sightseeing. The interests of Alfred and Bill, along with the passion of local aviation enthusiasts, are coming together
“It’s all the family”
Bip a e Rides & Sce icTours
this year with plans to break ground for the Kelch Aviation Museum at the Brodhead Airport. Al enjoyed tinkering with all things mechanical. He restored a Travel Air 4000 flown by Charles Lindbergh, and created the judging guidelines for a Vintage Airplane Division at the EAA AirVenture Fly-In in Oshkosh. Fast forward to the early 1990’s, when Brodhead’s airport, with its distinctive
BRODHEAD AIRPORT & AROUND THE MIDWEST
Steve Stettler and his wife Glennette invite you to visit their store and try many of their varieties of cheeses.
Master Cheesemaker Steve Stettler prepping curds before packaging.
MAY — OCTOBER Weather Permitting ✦ Gift Certificates Available ✦ The biplane seats two passengers. Flights start at $60 per person with two passengers.
Stop by our store and take home some cheese curds which are made fresh right at our factory.
Curd is the word TM and the Famed decatur Muenster curd. we carry Many MOre varieties! Our specialty curds include: Herb & Garlic, Buffalo, ranch peppercorn, Bleu cheese Flavored, cheddar,
GYPSY AIR TOURS | 608-215-7896 www.gypsyairtours.com Experience the majestic beauty of the skies from the open cockpit of a vintage 1930 WACO Taperwing.
Ph: 608-897-8661 • Fax: 608-897-4587 W1668 County Road F, Brodhead, WI • Hours: 8 am-5 pm • Monday-Saturday
See page 56 for chance to win a biplane tour and other fun + cheesy prizes!
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