The idea for the society was fostered by Morton W. Lester, a well-known Virginia aviation enthusiast from Martinsville, who saw the need to preserve and display rapidly disappearing aviation artifacts in Virginia.
Lester soon found other Virginian’s who shared his vision to establish a Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society. On Nov. 30, 1977, that vision became a reality when the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society was launched by a group of interested Virginia citizens.
The original purpose of the organization was to "study, research, interpret, preserve and disseminate Virginia’s aviation and aeronautical heritage, and to preserve, acquire and display those items pertaining to Virginia’s aviation and aeronautical heritage."
Since 1977, the society’s membership has grown and chapters have been established throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia to better serve the membership. The Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society is a non-profit 501 [c]  corporation governed by a Board of Directors, and is permanently headquartered in the Virginia Aviation Museum at the Richmond International Airport.
The objectives of the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society are to:
1. prepare, collect, and preserve documents, aircraft, aerospace vehicles, and other items which relate to the history of aviation and aerospace in Virginia, from its beginning to the present;
2. educate the general public with emphasis on young people, on the contribution which Virginia has made and is making to the development in aviation and aerospace;
3. provide aid and support to the Virginia Aviation Museum and those Virginia institutions which further the above goals; and
4. promote aviation in Virginia.
To support the mission, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society operates and directs a number of programs which are detailed in the Programs section of our site.