WICHITA AVIATION HISTORY
WICHITA EAGLE & BEACON
Wichita's newspaper since the city's founding -- the Eagle (and the later Beacon, eventually merged with the Eagle) -- served as major boosters of Wichita's early aviation industry.
To search the Tihen Notes index of Wichita newspaper articles,
Historian Edward Tihen created a remarkable archive of notes about all of the Wichita Eagle and Beacon articles, back to their origins, and Wichita State University has published them online.
They are both a summary and an index of articles throughout Wichita's history, including aviation history. They have been arranged in both:
CHRONOLOGICAL lists (one for each year, ; listing Eagle, then Beacon articles for that year, with summary notes), and
SUBJECT lists (listing all the Eagle & Beacon articles that Tihen noticed addressing a particular subject. These include subject listings for such topics as "Laird," "Cessna," "Swallow," "Stearman," and "Beech.")
This is an exceptional historical reference.
Full articles can be found in the newspaper archives of WSU's Ablah Library or its Special Collections (basement) section, or at the Wichita Public Library.
To search the Tihen Notes,
Today, the Wichita Eagle & Beacon is one of the principal promoters of Wichita's aviation history.
The following articles (many well-illustrated), by Eagle history writer Beccy Tanner, and others, give a rich and tantalizing background on Wichita (and Kansas) aviation history.
Specific CATEGORIES are listed in roughly chronological order, by first occurrence. Click on the "Article title", in quotes, to be linked to the article on the newspaper's website.
WICHITA AVIATION HISTORY, GENERALLY:
Feb 27, 2017:
"Wichita has reinvented itself before; can it do it again?"
Overview of Wichita's evolving industrial history, including its aviation industry, and how it happened, with insights by WSU History professor Jay Price.
Sep 1, 2016:
"Wichita aviation started 100 years ago Sept. 1"
A broad, but detailed, history of Wichita aviation, from its origins, to the modern era. Written at the start of the Wichita Aviation Centennial, Sept. 2016-2017.
KANSAS AVIATION HISTORY:
Sep 18, 2011:
"A century in Kansas flight"
A timeline chronology of key events in Kansas aviation history.
"Dreamers fuel Kansas' legacy of flight"
A broad, but detailed, history of Kansas aviation, from its origins, to the modern era, with interesting tidbits about famous Wichita aviation pioneers, and ordinary folks in the city's industry. Both articles published at the start of the Kansas Aviation Centennial (September 2011-2012).
Feb 1, 2010:
"Topekan was first person to fly Kansas-made plane over state
Story of Kansas' first aviator/planemaker, Albin K. Longren -- a pivotal engineer in the science of aircraft manufacturing, and later a key Cessna Vice President.
Jun 2, 2011:
"Cessna celebrates 100th anniversary of Clyde Cessna's first airplane"
Sep 12, 2013:
"Dwane Wallace to be honored by National Aviation Hall of Fame
LAIRD, MOELLENDICK & SWALLOW
Apr 9, 2010:
"Re-created Swallow honors Wichita's aviation legacy
Kansas Aviation Museum's re-creation of the first mass-produced Wichita airplane, the Laird Swallow -- America's "first commercial airplane." Some of Swallow's craftsmen would go on to become famous in aviation history across the nation, and here in Wichita.
Jun 3, 2013:
"Flying Circus important part of Kansas aviation history
Article about the Garver Flying Circus, which promoted development of Laird's Swallow and aviation, generally.
(historic 1920s team of Beech, Cessna, & Stearman)
September 17, 2015:
"Travel Air enthusiasts mark Wichita planemakerís 90th anniversary"
Brief note about Travel Air Restorer's Association meeting in Wichita, with their planes -- and numerous Travel Air photos, some historic.
& SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS
Jan 5, 2012:
"Boeing's Wichita history dates to 1927
An overview of Wichita's history with Boeing (and Stearman before it), on the occassion of Boeing's departure from Wichita.
Jul 31, 2011:
"After six years, Spirit is player in global market"
A 2011 overview of the short history of Spirit AeroSystems, which took over the Boeing-Wichita factory, preserving the mission of Wichita's largest factory complex, under a different name, still building Boeing jetliners.
BEECH, HAWKER & RAYTHEON
Feb 19, 2013:
"Timeline of Beechcraft Corp.
May 3, 2012:
"Historical look at Beechcraft
May 3, 2012:
"A look at Hawker Beechcraft through the years
October 24, 2010:
"Daughter: Beeches would be horrified"
Intimate history of the Beech aircraft company and its founding family, and commentary on Hawker-Beechcraft merger by Beech daughter Mary Lynn Oliver. Numerous historic Beech company & family photos.
Dec 27, 2013:
"More than 80 years of aviation history led to Beechcraft Corp.
CHRONOLOGY of WICHITA
Jan 29, 2011:
From horses to autos and airplanes
Strikes, frivolity, racism and a crash in spending
Dust, depression and baseball
War years: Stoking the home fires
A Kansas son, a U.S. president
Unrest and patriotism
Franchise and separation
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Copyright 2017 by Richard Harris
Join us in celebrating
a Century of Kansas Aviation!