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American Aviation Historical Society Looking for Volunteers

July 27, 2021 – As you walk down a flightline, do you mentally catalog each aircraft type, model, and variant? Do you ever wonder about the histories of the aircraft, their pilots, and designers? Would you be interested in helping preserve such aviation history, in exchange for a free e-membership? If you are nodding yes to these questions, consider joining this important aviation preservation project.

Formed shortly after EAA was founded in 1953, the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) now houses a huge collection of aviation images (260,000 35 mm slides, 1.7 million negatives and prints, and growing!) donated by AAHS members from around the world over the last 65 years.

With a mission to share aviation history, AAHS publishes an award-winning historical periodical, the AAHS Journal, and is working to share these images with the public. Significant resources have been expended to digitize images and post them to the AAHS database, at AAHS-Online.org. The pace of digitizing images, however, has far exceeded the rate of aircraft identification, and this is where you can help.

With your interest in aircraft types, and preserving our aircraft histories, you could be a volunteer AAHS Plane Spotter, right from your own computer or smartphone.

Sign up as an AAHS Plane Spotter at AAHSPlaneSpotter.com, and you’ll be assigned your own batch (10 or more) of high-resolution aircraft images that need cataloging. Using the high-resolution images, you’ll fill out data fields, such as aircraft type, year, model, serial number, etc. When you’ve entered as much information as you can (you don’t have to fill out every field, just do what you can!), you submit the data back to the image database. The information is verified and added to the image database, allowing others to access the image. After you submit an image batch back, you’ll be asked if you’d like to identify another batch of aircraft.

Concerned your knowledge of aircraft is too limited to contribute? Don’t worry, just entering data you can read from the image (aircraft serial number, for example) is a huge help in getting these aircraft identified. FAQs, aviation links, and other helpful guides for aircraft identification are available for your use on the Plane Spotter website, as well as communication access to the AAHS Plane Spotter administrator.

Volunteer Plane Spotters get a free e-membership to AAHS that includes access to much more aviation content at AAHS-Online.org, including online versions of past AAHS Journals. We also offer educational programs where student volunteers can gain educational credits with documented Plane Spotter activity.

Help make a difference today, engaging your aviation interests. Contact AAHS via ivolunteer@aahsplanespotter.com and get started preserving history!

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