“This story has its beginnings one rainy day around the end of June 1985 at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base. The meeting of the two people instrumental in starting the organization was due to poor weather. Larry Brown, Director of Flight Operations for Northrop-Wilcox and Richard McMahon, Airfield Manager at Richards Gebaur, were sitting in Mr. McMahon’s office discussing various aircraft pictured on the walls of his office. The conversation eventually came around to the Lockheed Constellation, at which time Mr. McMahon asked, “what ever happened to the Connie?” Both agreed that no Constellations had been seen in the K.C. area for at least 10 years. Mr. McMahon suggested that we should just buy one and fix it up and take it to air shows. This idea seemed so ridiculous that it brought great laughs from the four people in the office at that time. This, however, was followed by a semi-serious discussion of the possibilities of saving one of these great aircraft. Mr. Brown decided to undertake the task of determining just what had become of all of the Connies.”
As the result of Brown’s research, they found a derelict Connie, registration number N6937C, in storage at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. It was one of the last Constellations off Lockheed’s assembly lines in 1958, and was built as a cargo plane for Slick Airways. It passed through many hands after being sold by Slick Airways, and had been parked at Falcon Field nine years earlier, much the worse for wear, after its life as a bug sprayer in Canada was over.
From these beginnings, the organization, Save A Connie, Inc. (a not-for-profit), continued its quest to acquire, restore, and, where practical, return to flight noteworthy historic airliners. Upon moving into its present facility and acquisition of the Martin 404 and Douglas DC-3 the organization adopted the d/b/a (doing business as) name of “Airline History Museum (AHM)” as that name was more descriptive of the expanded mission.
STAR OF AMERICA – Dedication Ceremonies – July 8th, 1988
(From the Program for)