The CallAir Museum, located in the new Afton Civic Center, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008 at 11 a.m. The museum will portray a living history of CallAir airplanes.
A look back in the past shows that a man named Reuel Call, his uncle Ivan Call, and his brother Spencer Call sat down to design an airplane that would perform well in high mountain valleys.
“Their task was daunting, and they picked a tough time to accomplish it,” wrote Bill Call. Following a rough start in 1942 and in the middle of World War II, the legendary CallAir cabin plane was created and was designed as a mountain plane.
Early on CallAir’s history, Barlow Call came to Star Valley and brought many flying skills that would really show what the CallAir aircraft could do. He used the plane for hunting, ferrying, and measuring snow, like the CallAir airplane, Barlow Call has been named a legend of Star Valley.
The CallAir Aircraft factory had be flexible in order to stay afloat, so in the early fifties Herb Andersen was hired as the new plant manager and he brought with him efficiency and discipline and a new marketing plan. During Andersen’s management, CallAir discontinued its cabin plane and began manufacturing a new crop-duster plane.
CallAir changed owners in the sixties with new owners being Doyle Child and Ted Frome. The new owners then replaced the previous crop-duster plane with the CallAir A-9. It was a success from its beginning with as many as 850 manufactured and sold in subsequent years.
Following that, a still-bigger spray plane was designed, the B-1. About 35 of them were built in Afton.
From that point on the company progressed to make many different types of aircrafts and today manufactures the famous Pitt Special Acrobatic Biplane and the rugged upper-winged Husky.
The CallAir factory has over the years employed literally hundreds of Star Valley residents. Star Valley is and will long be known as the place in the Mountain West where airplane manufacturing has thrived for more than 70 years.