May We Introduce Ourselves?

The Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin was founded by a dedicated group of volunteers and EAA Chapter 766 who raised $1.4 million to construct its magnificent facility. Since then, the Aviation Heritage Center has hosted thousands of visitors and pilots.

The Center's mission is to preserve the aviation history of Wisconsin and the legacy of unique episodes in civil and military aviation via archiving and public exhibits. In addition, aviation education programs encourage young people to pursue careers in aviation related fields.

Situated at the heart of the Sheboygan County Airport, the Center offers guests a close-up look at aircraft operations. During much of the year, Sheboygan County Airport is one of the busiest private aviation airports in the state.

The Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We receive no government support, do not charge admission fees, and do not have a paid membership. We exist due to the generous contributions made by visitors, friends, and Wisconsin companies!







The Hmong T-28 Exhibit

   Watikus Exhibit     T-28

The Hmong T-28 Exhibit honors the Hmong pilots who flew the North American T-28 "Trojan" and other aircraft from remote airstrips in support of American CIA covert operations in Laos during the U.S. Secret War.

The Aviation Heritage Center's North American T-28 aircraft was actually used to train Hmong pilots to fly at Udorn RTAFB (Royal Thai Air Force Base) Thailand, as part of Operation Waterpump. It is the only exhibit of its kind in the nation that recognizes the sacrifice made by the Hmong pilots in the name of freedom to defend their homeland during the Vietnam War.

Other men who are honored by this exhibit are the Ravens (a brave and select group of clandestine American pilots who flew as Forward Air Controllers alongside the Hmong) and the T-28 Instructor Pilots of Det. 1, Special Operations Wing 56.

The aircraft was restored to exhibit quality by EAA Chapter 766.




Military Aircraft Simulators

 simulatorThe Center's T-37 jet simulator (right photo) is one of two in existence. These simulators were used by the United States Air Force to teach the fundamentals of jet aircraft operation to more than 78,000 U.S. Air Force fighter pilots.simulator

 The Center's T-28 simulator (left photo) is one of two in existence. The T-28 was a military trainer during the 1950s and 1960s, and many were used in combat during the Vietnam War.




model aircraft

Dario Brisighella models


 Four award-winning, radio controlled aircraft built by master craftsman Dario Brisighella. Every piece of these airplanes was hand-made from scratch. No parts were bought or assembled from a kit. Everything – even the cockpit instrument markings, upholstered seats, navigation lights and flight controls - were delicately crafted by hand. On display are a rare de Havilland Hornet, a 1947 Stinson Voyager, Piel Emeraude, and Starduster Too. These aircraft a unique masterpieces of aviation art!



Paul Riddle models





 A collection of more than 100 kit model aircraft built by hobbyist Paul Riddle.





exhibits of aviation history

    Watikus Exhibit    T-28Governor Kohler

 Felix Waitkus, Wisconsin's "Charles Lindberg", the fourth person to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean by aircraft.

 The U.S. Secret War in Laos and the fascinating story of the Hmong pilots and the American pilot instructors who taught them to fly.

 The Governors Kohler Exhibit and Conference Room documenting Wisconsin's two "flying governors", Walter Kohler Sr.
and Walter Kohler, Jr.

 Retrospectives of the Sheboygan and Kohler airports.

 Memorabilia from and exhibits about Wisconsin WWII combat aviators.

During special events, get a close-up look at rare aircraft, chat with their pilots, and meet combat pilot veterans.

T-6   Paul Walter
Former WWII B-27 bomber pilot Doug Holt
signs his book Lucky Dog
Pilot Gary Otto shows the cockpit of his WWII era
North American T-6 trainer
  T-28 Pilot Paul Walter explains the aircraft's
fascinating military history

T-33 Gate Guardian


Our "gate guardian" is a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. Introduced in 1948, the T-33 was the only USAF jet trainer from 1949-1959.

The Aviation Heritage Center's T-33 is mounted in the attitude of an inverted, high-power climb. It illustrates the grace, power and agility of the aircraft, and symbolizes the drama and the upward progress of aviation history and technology. At the base of the exhibit, visitors can push one of three buttons that will activate the sounds of a T-33 in flight, landing, or taking off.

T-33 Murals

Hand painted by Milwaukee artist Rich Valiga, murals of Lockheed T-33s in formation flight greet visitors at the main entrance.

Fly an airplane simulator



 Flying the Center's full-motion, three-axis Redbird simulator is almost like flying a real aircraft.

 The Wright Brother's simulator lets you experience flying the world's first powered airplane.

 The Center's smaller Redbird simulator puts you in the pilot seat without the motion.



Watch take-offs and landings



 Between May and October, the Sheboygan County Airport is one of the busiest airports in Wisconsin. From the Center's balcony, visitors can watch aircraft opertions, from large corporate jets to small aircraft trainers.






Historic Aviators

Historic aviators such as Waitkus, Brotz, Thompson and Kohler helped establish landmark aviation advancements in Wisconsin. From Pioneer days when barnstormers gave rides and demonstrations, to the golden age of aviation of the late 1920's and 30's, the Aviation Heritage Center commemorates the exciting history of Wisconsin flight.

Sheboygan Airport     Kohler Airport     Governor Walter Kohler Sr.     Felix Waitkus Exhibit - 1935

See larger photos