Eugene W. Kettering Model Aircraft Collection In 1930, Eugene W. Kettering joined General Motors as a research engineer, and he became a leading figure in the in the evolution of the modern diesel locomotive. After nearly 30 years with General Motors, Eugene Kettering retired and he and his wife, Virginia, devoted their energies to a wide range of philanthropic activities. When the Air Force Museum Foundation was created in 1960 to fund the building of a new Air Force Museum, Kettering continued his family's interest in aviation and became the foundation's first chairman. He actively assisted in raising funds to construct the Air Force Museum, which opened in 1971. Kettering supported the museum in many other ways, including the long-term loan of 558 model airplanes from his personal collection in 1962. The models on display give visitors a sense of the technological growth of aviation in a glance. Click here to return to the Other Exhibits index.