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#NationalAviationDay - Wichita, the Air Capital of the World

🎊Happy #NationalAviationDay, Wichita!🎊 As the Air Capitol of the World🌎, we thought it was only fair to touch on Wichita’s history today and mention some aviation-related events🛩 as well! Here’s a rough timeline of where it all began (events listed at the bottom):

1️⃣9️⃣1️⃣7️⃣ - Clyde Cessna started manufacturing planes in Kansas, starting with the Cessna Comet, which was the first aircraft built in the city.

1️⃣9️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ - Emil “Matty” Laird begins to manufacture his designs in town, leading to the formation of the Swallow Airplane Company

1️⃣9️⃣2️⃣6️⃣ - Lloyd Stearman, a former Swallow employee, opens Stearman Aircraft. These facilities would later become a part of Boeing in 1934.

1️⃣9️⃣2️⃣7️⃣ - Clyde Cessna starts his own company titled….you guessed it, Cessna

1️⃣9️⃣2️⃣9️⃣ - The Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce officially dubs Wichita the “Air Capital of the World”

1️⃣9️⃣3️⃣2️⃣ - Walter Beech, also a former Swallow employee, opens Beechcraft

Just three years later, the Wichita Municipal Airport ✈️ opened. This became the major manufacturing center for the Boeing B-29 bomber during WWII and as a result, Wichita’s population boomed. 📈 In 1951, The U.S. Air Force took over the airport which then became McConnell Air Force Base, and the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport ✈️ (now Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport) was used for all non-military air traffic by 1954. Learjet Corporation would open next to the new airport 8 years later.

Since then, Boeing has ended operations in Wichita (2014), but we have remained a national center of aircraft manufacturing. Other companies remain in the area such as Spirit AeroSystems, Airbus, Learjet, and Textron Aviation, which is the conglomerate of Hawker, Beechcraft, and Cessna.

📆 Upcoming events:

  • Tomorrow, August 20: The Bourbon Salute (

  • Saturday, September 18: Air Capital Fly-in (

  • Saturday, September 25: Play on a Plane (

  • Saturday, October 16: Pull a Plane for Education (

For more information, visit: or

To see all of our past Wichita-related content, tune in tomorrow for the launch of our new website!

Happy National Aviation Day! 🛩 🌎

Clyde Cessna and his aircraft the Cessna Comet.

The Kansas Aviation Museum.

This building was the former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal from 1935-1954. During WWII, this airport became the fourth busiest in the United States due to its convenient location in the middle of the U.S. The control tower was added in 1940 and was the first control tower to have slanted windows. After WWII, the U.S. Air Force bought the air base and it became known as McConnell Air Force Base, or Building One.

Photo: David G. Keith

A Boeing B-29 Superfortress

For more information, visit:

"Located in the heart of the I-35 corridor and at the confluence of major railroad systems, the greater Wichita region is perfectly positioned to grow global ideas and businesses, while a new national airport makes air travel easy and convenient. " -

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