We are looking for new partners to join our club.

The EnginAires Aero Club is one of the oldest flying clubs in the United states. For decades, we have been a part of the Champaign-area aviation community.

Our self-organized equity based club currently owns and operates a 1977 Piper PA-28-181 Archer II and a 1977 Cessna 182Q that are hangared with Flightstar at University of Illinois Willard Airport (KCMI). Both aircraft are IFR equipped with GPS and autopilot.

If you are:

  • a pilot without access to a plane as rental opportunities have dried up
  • wanting to learn how to fly in a friendly and cost-effective way
  • currently supporting "too much" airplane
  • in need of a cost-effective backup to your current plane
  • new to the CU area and looking for an aircraft club
  • employed in the aviation industry but without access to an aircraft

then EnginAires Aero Club may be the solution for you.

Membership is not limited to current pilots! We accept members who are not yet pilots. Club members can learn to fly in club aircraft.

If you are interested in more information, feel free to contact the club at info@enginaires.com or attend a montly meeting. Our meetings are held at Flightstar, starting at 7pm on the last Thursday of the month.

Additional information about the club is in the About section below.

About EnginAires Aero Club

Enginaires Aero Club was founded in 1956 by a group of Engineering professors at the University of Illinois, Urbana. All had an interest in flying, wanted to own and operate aircraft, and to share the costs.

The club is a democratically run, equity ownership club. Equity ownership means that all club members are equal owners of the club's assets, including the aircraft and all accounts. It is organized as an S-Corporation.

Monthly meetings are typically held the last Thursday of each month in the classroom at Flightstar. The meetings are very interesting for the less seasoned pilots, as there are discussions about maintenance issues and there are always some experienced pilots sharing their views. Organized but brief educational talks are also provided frequently. We have hosted airport CEOs, ATC personnel, Insurance executives, FBO managers and others.

Anyone can apply for membership. Most of the current members were pilots before joining, but that is not a requirement. We do accept new pilots and there are currently four flight instructors within the club as well as a number of club-approved instructors that are not members.

The exact price of flying fluctuates with costs. There are three principal costs: buy-in, monthly dues, and hourly use.

  • As of July 2021, our buy-in Share Value is $8,500, but prospective members are free to negotiate directly with retiring members. Current club rules provide for the club to repurchase a retiring member's share 12 months after notice for two-thirds value if they are unable to find a buyer themselves. Thus a retiring member will recover some or all of the buy-in costs.
  • Monthly dues cover fixed costs (insurance, hangar rent, annual inspection, age related repairs, etc) and as of July 2021 are set at about $285 per month but vary as membership changes.
  • The hourly rate as of July 2021 is approximately $105 per tachometer hour "wet" (including fuel) for the Archer and $138 for the Cessna 182Q, and fluctuates somewhat depending on current fuel prices. This is much less than renting a comparable aicraft (if you can find a rental aircraft at all). The hourly rate is based on tach hours as opposed to Hobbs which further reduces the actual cost per clock hour.

In addition to paying their bills, members are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings, and to help with the occasional plane cleaning sesions or committees. We know that everyone cannot attend all meetings. However, we are defintely owners and not renters. The club safety officer requires an initial checkout before club aircraft are available for use. After that, the club also requires that a flight review be completed annually.

Because the club limits membership to a maximum of 10 members per airplane, scheduling conflicts are unusual. Scheduling of aircraft is handled via website (linked in the sidebar on the left). There is no minimum daily hour charge to use the aicraft for a trip. Take the plane anywhere you want within the continental United States and pay only for the actual tach hours you fly.

Members may reserve a plane for one long trip per year. A long trip is considered to be one that spans two consecutive weekends. Shorter trips that only reserve a single weekend are unlimited. It is difficult to find that kind of availablity without buying an aircraft on your own.

If you are interested in more information, feel free to contact the club at info@enginaires.com or attend a montly meeting.

With EAA's Airventure 2021 approaching, I had a request to add some WWII history to the page.. here is a copy of the article.

The Cars, Tanks and Airplanes of WWII

Written by Bonnie Gringer

World War II, a global conflict that lasted from 1939-45, was among the most far-reaching conflicts in history. The war spanned six continents, involved more than 30 countries, and introduced new weapons and machinery. Nations pushed their best scientific minds to their limits designing and manufacturing equipment for troop and supply transport. The United States alone raised hundreds of millions of dollars through bond campaigns to fund the war effort. Unlike in previous wars, when horsepower was the main means of transport, military vehicles became a key part of the fight to capture territory, supplies, and enemy soldiers. Whether in the air or on the ground, the cars, tanks, and airplanes used during World War II had a great impact on a nation’s ability to successfully campaign against the enemy. As Joseph Stalin said, “The war was decided by engines and octane.”

World War II Cars

If you’ve ever gotten a car title loan quote for a Jeep, you’ve gotten one for a piece of military history. Though the jeep has been in the civilian world for more than 70 years, it was initially designed as a military transport. At the beginning of World War II, many countries still used horses and wagons to move troops and supplies, including Germany. The United Kingdom was the only nation that entered the war with a full complement of military vehicles, including the Guy armoured car and the Bison concrete armored lorry. The United States soon followed Britain’s lead when it came to the use of military vehicles and stopped using horses before entering the war. In 1940, the U.S. Army solicited bids for automakers to design a light reconnaissance vehicle that would later become the jeep. These vehicles moved soldiers and supplies over some of the most difficult terrain in Europe and Asia and demonstrated the superiority of modern vehicles over traditional transports in warfare. Both the Axis and Allied powers used jeeps, whether built or captured, for troop and supply transport.

World War II Trucks

Along with the jeep, trucks played a vital role in troop transport, maintaining supply lines and serving as fire engines. Most of the trucks were supplied by GMC, which built more than 500,000 2½-ton 6×6 trucks from 1940 to 1945. This truck, dubbed the “deuce-and-a-half” by soldiers, was sturdy like a Jeep, but its larger size allowed it to transport more troops and supplies. The deuce-and-a-half also carried tons of gasoline to the front lines, enabling Allied forces to continue to advance without fear of running out of fuel. Germany, still dependent on horsepower at the beginning of the conflict, was unprepared for the speed with which the Allied forces could move troops and supplies. Though they attempted to quickly assemble mechanized transports, they often ran out of gas, which left German troops open to Allied attacks.

  • GMC Trucks in World War II: Discover the story behind the more than 500,000 military trucks built by GMC to support the Allies in every theater of the war.
  • The American Auto Industry in World War II: GMC wasn’t the only supplier of trucks during the war. Learn more about how Chevrolet aided the war effort on this page.
  • Fire Trucks of World War II: Fire trucks are key to troop safety and supply security. Learn more about the trucks that kept troops safe during World War II.
  • Fire Trucks at War: Learn more about the vehicles and men that made up the U.S. Army engineer fighting platoons of World War II.

World War II Tanks

Tanks first appeared during World War I and quickly proved their worth in battle. A modern take on ancient siege engines, tanks protected troops and served as mobile artillery units, while their all-terrain mobility made them ideal for going over ground impassable to trucks or jeeps. That every country that fought in World War II had tank regiments speaks to their effectiveness. Smaller, lightweight tanks scouted locations for troop movement in enemy territory, while heavier models transported key military personnel in safety. The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and Germany had the most advanced tanks during the war. The American M-4, known as the Sherman, with its moveable turret and 75 mm cannon, was lightly armored and maneuverable and saw action in every theater of World War II. Other notable tanks from this era include Germany’s Tiger II and Panzer tanks, Britain’s Churchill Crocodiles, and the Soviet T-34.

World War II Aircraft

Aerial warfare existed well before World War II. Hot air balloons were used for propaganda distribution and reconnaissance as early as the Napoleonic Wars, and planes performed aerial bombardments during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12. In the years leading up to World War II, advancements in aircraft brought aerial warfare to new heights and illustrated the importance of maintaining air superiority. The Messerschmitts used by the Luftwaffe, the German Army’s aerial warfare branch, were integral to its early victories during the Polish Campaign, the invasion of Norway, and the Battle of France. Allied military aircraft like the British Spitfire and Hurricane gained near-mythic status after seeing action at Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain and helped turn the tide of the war. Japan’s B5Ns, Zeros, and D3As were used at Pearl Harbor in 1941 in the attack that officially pulled the United States into the global conflict. American planes like the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning were instrumental as fighters as well as long-distance escort planes. The P-38 Lightning was so feared by the Luftwaffe that it earned the nickname “Fork-Tailed Devil.”

World War II History Resources

Club ArcherII on the Ramp