McDonald hosts the Emmy Award-winning show "Illinois Stories," which
is produced for PBS. Weekly, he visits places of interest, and his
show has gained him the reputation as a "chronicler of life" in
central and west-central Illinois.
So, what was McDonald doing
here? He and his camera crew were out to the Logan County Airport,
where Heritage in Flight Museum is located, to get a little history
lesson on aviation.
During the hour or so that McDonald and his film crew were at the
museum, he interviewed museum curator Jack Burke and spoke with
longtime museum volunteer Rick Naugle.
"Illinois Stories" is broadcast on SWEC in Jacksonville and
Springfield, WQEC in Quincy, and WMEC in Macomb. The program can be
viewed on over-the-air Channel 8 in Springfield and on digital WSEC
14.1 in the surrounding area.
The 30-minute segment on the Heritage in Flight Museum first
aired on Thursday, but if you missed it, there are still two more
times scheduled: Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
About the museum
Through its indoor and outdoor displays, the Heritage in Flight
Museum offers an up-close view of aviation, its history, impacts on
technology and aviation's part in protecting our country in times of
The museum has been an attraction appreciated for its local
history collection, as well as of interest to international visitors
who would like to learn more about our country, as much as to
aviation enthusiasts. Visitors have flown in, driven in from the
easy access to Interstate 55 and Route 10, and some have been
following historic Route 66.
At the airport, visitors will find that the primary indoor
display area for the museum is a bit of history itself. It is a
former Camp Ellis barracks that was located west of Havana, Ill.,
and brought to the airport after World War II.
Inside, visitors will find numerous items and documentation of
aviation history. Displays include military and civilian branches of
Through the donations of Logan County veterans and their
families, the stories of local war heroes also unfold. And,
long-forgotten practices re-emerge that held communities together in
Whether it is from the communication radios used in airplanes and
on ships, or other equipment and instruments found on display, a
visual tale is spelled out loudly about the astonishing progress of
technology in the last century.
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The numerous displays are mostly grouped by wartime periods.
Little-known nuances found in displays make history fascinating.
Visitors to the museum often say that they gained a greater sense of
appreciation for history and the patriotism of each era.
Indoor displays are also found in the large hangar next door to
the barracks. There visitors will find restored jeeps and other
vehicles, a balloon and basket, lighted working display engines,
authentic reproductions of military aircraft nose art re-created on
cowlings and other aircraft parts, and much more from aviation's
more than 100-year history.
The outdoor displays offer an impressive flight line of vintage
aircraft, military jets and helicopters, as well as vehicles, and
are open 24/7.
Another historic landmark at the airport is the beacon that
Charles Lindbergh used to navigate his mail route between St. Louis
and Chicago. The beacon, which is still operational today, was part
of the lighted airway system in the 1920s. Previously located
between Atlanta and Lincoln, this beacon now identifies the Logan
County Airport for pilots flying at night. It is also activated when
weather conditions fall below visible flight rules.
The museum is always interested in adding items of history.
However, the greatest need is for more volunteers to help in the
guardianship of this important collection.
Heritage in Flight Museum is operated by an all-volunteer,
nonprofit organization, Heritage-In-Flight Inc. People interested
are invited to come and meet the members and sit in on their
meetings anytime. Meetings take place at the airport at 1 p.m. on
the first Saturday of each month.
A guided tour is recommended to get the most from a visit. Call
217-732-3333 and leave a message to arrange a visit or a tour time.
School and youth groups are especially welcome.
Heritage in Flight Museum is located at 1351 Airport Road,
Lincoln. Also visit