About The Museum


The Aviation Museum of Kentucky Celebrating the Past

Since its founding in 1978, members of the Kentucky Aviation History Roundtable dreamed of an aviation museum. To this end, the group incorporated in 1981 as the Aviation Museum of Kentucky. In 1984, the IRS granted 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status. In 1994, the General Assembly designated the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame as the Commonwealth's official Aviation Hall of Fame. And in 1995 the dream came true: April 2010 marked the Museum's fifteenth anniversary.

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky has welcomed guests from all 50 states and from more than 80 foreign countries. We have grown to contribute immeasurably to the public understanding of and enthusiasm for aviation - an industry that in 2000 contributed $10.3 billion to Kentucky's economy and supported 129,000 Kentucky jobs.

An important part of our mission is educating young people about aviation's career potential. The industry employs pilots, mechanics, executives, secretaries, instructors, engineers, clerks, controllers, flight attendants, meteorologists, travel agents, freight handlers, med-evac professionals. The list goes on and on.

But our mission extends across the entire educational spectrum - not just to career counseling. Our changing exhibits attract approximately 10,000 students to Lexington's Blue Grass Airport each year. Visitors learn about the science of flight, and about its history. They learn how Kentucky has helped shape the field that has so shaped the world.

Academically, the study of flight supports and strengthens a wide variety classroom subjects. Aviation gives meaning and purpose to the study of math, physics, biology, geography, and more. Our "Learning through Aviation" program gives educators tools to incorporate aviation studies into the classroom curriculum.

The AMK's Aviation Summer Camp gives 10- to 15-year-olds a hands-on introduction to the sky. Every year, hundreds of youngsters study flight with our professional educators - and then they go aloft with licensed instructors. To some, it's a summer adventure. To others, this is the start of a lifelong career or a satisfying hobby. And through the Museum's scholarship program, nearly a third of all campers attend at no charge. We continue to offer camps in local communities throughout Kentucky. Students attend from within and beyond.

The Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame recognizes the Commonwealth's aviation achievers. Forty-five Kentuckians have been honored to date, with more nominees introduced every year. The Hall of Fame has honored WASPs and warriors, executives and designers, instructors and astronauts, statesmen and spies. Some enshrinees have changed aviation - Matthew Sellers of Carter County gave us retractable landing gear; Solomon Van Meter of Lexington gave us the life-saving pack parachute - and some have changed the world: Noel Parrish of Versailles led the legendary Tuskegee Airmen out of segregation and into history.

Historic Aviation events have become an AMK tradition. Restored barnstormers, vintage airliners, and historic Warbirds attract thousands each year. Some visitors are World War II-era seniors showing their grandchildren the planes they flew (or maintained, or built). Some are aviation buffs who love these grand old aircraft. Others are young parents who want their children to understand the sacrifices Americans have made for freedom.

Our quarterly lectures have been a tradition since our founding. Speakers come from around the region and around the world to share their knowledge and tell their stories. AMK quarterly meetings are open to the public; they have helped build Museum membership from a handful in 1978 to over 600 today.

Inspiring the Future

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is an asset to the state, to the industry, and to the nation. Our programs increase and improve every year. Our volunteers are enthusiastic, our board is involved, our membership is supportive, and our staff makes good use of the Museum's limited resources. Thanks to a generous bequest the corporation is debt-free.

We welcome you to join us in building the limitless future. The Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Inc., is a501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization; your gift is tax-deductible. To learn more about becoming part of aviation history in Kentucky, email us at museum@aviationky.org or call 859-231-1219.

Our Bylaws As approved 9/22/2012