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Billard Airport Topeka (KTOP) Hangar 15

In the past, Aviation Explorer Post 8 operated primarily out of Hetrick Aviation in a classroom above their maintenance shop. After outgrowing this space in the 1990s, the Explorers began a search and raising funds for a new location.

In 2010, the Explorer Post entered a long-term agreement with the Metropolitan Topeka Transit Authority (MTAA) to acquire, renovate, and occupy Hangar 15 on the north end of the historic airfield. The hangar was renovated over a 6 month period with an estimated $250,000 in donated funds, materials, and labor!


Today, we provide first class experiences to youth in the community with a beautiful classroom, kitchen, conference room, and hangar for both of our aircraft; all in the same building!


Widely used as a trainer, the Cessna 150 has a reputation for reliability and good flight characteristics. It is forgiving but doesn't coddle the student. Our venerable 150 has flown many Explorers, including some who now serve as post advisors. It is dear to us, and as such, we take good care of it. We are fortunate to have the skill and talents of two certified mechanics on staff. Their dedication ensures that your son or daughter learns in a safe environment. N704VU isn't the first trainer we've had, however. To see some pictures of aircraft we've owned in the past, click here


Our Cherokee 180 offers higher cruise speed and higher gross weight.  It allows us to take two extra passengers and to transition into an environment more representative of what our Explorers will find when they one day leave the Post and go out on their own.  Even so, they still enjoy the benefits of our monthly pilot meetings and safety lectures.  And, of course, they enjoy the security of knowing that their airplane is maintained to the highest standards.