The Aero Club of Buffalo offers the following scholarships:
The Fran Bainbridge Flight Training Scholarship
Awarded to a flight student pursuing a private pilot or higher certificate. Applicants for this scholarship must be between the ages of 17-25 and be a permanent resident or student within the WNY region as defined below. The applicant must have a Student Pilot Certificate and have soloed by the due date of the application.
The Thomas P. Kopera Post-Secondary School Tuition Assistance Scholarship
Awarded to be used toward a degree program or other training. Applicants for this scholarship must be between the ages of 17-25 and be a permanent resident or student living within the WNY region as defined below. Planning a career in the field of aviation, to include, but not limited to: A & P mechanic, aerospace engineer, airport manager, aviation educator, air traffic controller, commercial or airline pilot. This scholarship is offered to endorse and assist your efforts in pursuing your education/career in aviation. Funds awarded may be used for the purpose of related books, materials, aircraft rent and instructor time or tuition expenses.
We are the Aeroclub of Buffalo, NY
Founded in 1879, still celebrating Buffalo's rich aviation history to this day. You can learn more about Buffalo's aviation history, our club, and scholarships available.This Day in Aviation History
Aeroclub of Buffalo Leadership
Mark B. AblesVice-President
Dennis J. PerrySecretary
Thomas J. KeoughHistorian:
Suzanne S. Dietz
Mark B. Ables
Michael F. Belcher
Richard F. Brox
Ronald A. Grimm, Jr.
Harry B. Hays
M. R. Jim Kaletta
Thomas J. Keough
Arlene E. LoPresti
Paul H. Maze
Raymond W. Meissner
Hugh M. Neeson
George E. White
Stanley J. Nowak
The present AERO CLUB OF BUFFALO traces its continuous existence to 1879 - the date the Buffalo Bicycle Club (sometimes known as the High Wheel Club) was organized, February 22, 1879. It had as active members (the local pioneers of aviation): Charles Haberer, Joseph Clody, Ed Bull, Arthur Zimmerman, Major Taylor, Frank Kramer, Reggie McNamara, Alfred Goullet, Norman Hill, (Ref: Geist - "Cycling as a Hobby" - Grovenor, Div. Erie County Library)
Other local clubs developing ballooning (and blimps) and racing pigeon interests were the Press cycling club, the Ramblers, the East Side Cyclers, and the Eldridge Club of Tonawanda. They all reached their period of greatest cycling activity in the 1880's and then turned their interests to autos while others went to the air. These cyclists constructed small blimps and used a bicycle with large propeller styled pedals to motor their way in the air. These "sky bicycles" made their appearance around Buffalo and barnstormed American cities.
Members of the Carrier Pigeon Club of Buffalo were more interested in the antics of Otto Lilienthal, a German, than they were in John. J. Montgomery, an American, who in 1883 with his brother as an assistant, made his first gliding attempt. Montgomery's first craft was patterned after a seagull, its wings had a downward slope and a considerable length. Lilienthal's early attempts were along the lines of wings, which when attached to the arms of the aeronaut and whipped madly back and forth it was hoped, would take the enthusiast soaring like a bird, into the air. These early attempts were doomed to failure.
In 1891, Lilienthal's attention was directed to the construction of a biplane glider - an affair made of peeled willow saplings and cotton cloth, waxed to make it air tight. The glider was so designed that it provided armrests to assist the flier. To Lilienthal, must go credit for the first successful soaring attempts; Montgomery, it will be remembered, had merely glided.
During this period there were trials and failures to fly by the most adventurous of the Carrier Pigeon Club of Buffalo but it was for Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio to persevere. Historians note the pursuits of these two brothers in reading avidly accounts of Lilienthal's gliding and soaring experiences in German, and studying with peculiar fascination, Marey's "Animal Mechanization of Flight in the Animal Kingdom."
On the occasion of the golden anniversary of the first regular meeting of the AERO CLUB, the late John W. Van Allen, a former president and "dean" of the AERO CLUB of Buffalo, Inc., recalled that the founders of the club, sparked by the late John M. Satterfield started regular meetings in 1900. A few years later the group received its charter as the first U.S. AERO CLUB Chapter from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale of France, making it the oldest aero club in America, second oldest in the world.
On July 2, 1900 the Automobile Club of Buffalo was organized, and shared its club rooms in the Hotel Lennox (North Street) with a dozen air enthusiasts headed by John. M. Satterfield as their president. They were the charter members of the present AERO CLUB of Buffalo. One of the exploits of the AERO CLUB preincorporation enthusiasts was the 1906 flight of the first dirigible over Buffalo.
"Every street car on Main Street was stopped and all the children were let out of school to watch it. For two hours you couldn't get a telephone connection because everybody was at the windows."
"After a few years as a group it combined with another group and incorporated under the laws of the State of New York on March 29, 1910. I am enclosing a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, paragraph Second of which outlines under the title of "PURPOSES", the objects of the group. In the Certificate of Incorporation you will find the names of the original incorporaters which represented the most active members of the original group, all prominent men of Buffalo at the time." From a letter dated December 16, 1953 by John W. Van Allen to Gordon W. Campbell.
The Aero Club of Buffalo offers the following scholarships:
Funding is determined yearly. Funded has ranged from $1500 to $2500 per scholarship.
To be eligible for consideration, candidates must reside in or be a student in one of the following counties: Niagara, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Monroe, Livingston, Allegany, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, and Schuyler.
Funding for these scholarships is generously supported by the Aero Club of Buffalo Members.
Forms are revised yearly, and new forms will be listed mid-January 2021.
All scholarships will be awarded at the Niagara Aerospace Museum’s Hall of Fame Dinner to be held May 2021.
Please contact Co-Chair Pamela Crassidis at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach us at:
AERO CLUB OF BUFFALO
P.O. Box 676
Buffalo, NY 14231