By Jon Proctor, TWA Historian
Early in 1977, the late Paul Collins, founder and self-appointed President of the World Airline Hobby Club, decided to have a little get-together. A loosely organized fraternity of airline and airliner enthusiasts, the two-year-old club was informally held together by its quarterly journal, THE CAPTAIN'S LOG. Collins sent out notices and advertised in the LOG for a proposed airliner show to be held that July at a hotel adjacent to Cincinnati Airport.
"About 60 people showed up," recalled Collins. "And we had a pretty good time, swapping and displaying airline memorabilia. None of us back then had any idea of what we were starting."
From the meager beginning evolved "Airliners International," a yearly convention that has become the "Super Bowl" of enthusiast shows for those in search of every imaginable form of air transport aeronautica. Millions of dollars in aviation collectibles have been bought, sold, and traded since that first gathering. Now regional collectibles shows are also held across the US, Canada, and Europe.