KLBE Museum

The air museum is located on the Arnold Palmer (Latrobe) airport’s East Ramp, which is along Route 981, across from Kennametal, just south of Route 30, near the old rotating beacon.   The museum was opened to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment throughout the summer.  There is no charge for admission.

 

 

Proposed Aviation Museum at Latrobe Artist Rendering

 

  

 

AVIATION MUSEUM OPENS AT

ARNOLD PALMER REGIONAL AIRPORT

LATROBE, PA

by Dwayne Pickels

The KLBE Latrobe Air Museum opened this spring at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity Township.  KLBE is the international identifier for Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

It was a project that had been on the Westmoreland County Airport Authority’s radar, so to speak, in various incarnations since 1986. Longtime authority member Donald Rossi of Youngstown recently resurrected the project when he agreed to donate the use of a hangar that he owns on the airport’s east ramp to serve as a home for the museum.

The museum currently has four aircraft on display, including “Old Blue,” as it is called around the airport. It’s a vintage single-engine Stinson Reliant. The gull-wing plane is now painted in the maroon All American Aviation colors worn during the first scheduled air-mail pickup at the airport near Latrobe in 1939.

Among other local aviation memorabilia on display in the museum’s collection is an OX-5 airplane engine. The power plant propelled the Curtis Jenny — a favorite among aviation’s pioneers.

Mr. Rossi also purchased a set of 24 airline seats and projection equipment to construct a small theater inside the museum that is used to show a collection of historical and educational aviation films for visitors. Panels with aerial photographss are mounted on the theater walls provide the sensation of being seating in an actual aircraft while enjoying the films.

Mr. Rossi coordinated a small group of dedicated local pilots and aviation enthusiasts, led by museum directors Dave Austin and Sam Schrecengost, who volunteer to curate the museum and share their aviation knowledge, experience and history with interested visitors.

The air museum is located on the airport’s East Ramp, which is along Route 981, across from Kennametal, just south of Route 30, near the old rotating beacon.

The museum was opened to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment throughout the summer.  There is no charge for admission.

The airport has served this region since the 1920s, and has a rich and colorful history.

The museum project has been a labor of love by Mr. Rossi, who is also a pilot.

“This was inspired out of love for aviation,” he said. “It’s a very humble attempt, and it’s only a start.”  Mr. Rossi added that, one of the goals of the museum project was, “to teach aviation education, the way it was, the way it is and the way it will be.”

For more information, contact:

Sam Schrecengost -724-787-8396

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