THE KANSAS
 AVIATION
CENTENNIAL

100 Years of Aviation Progress
1911-1912  to  2011-2012

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recent aviation magazine cover noting Kansas aviation topic - CLICK TO SEE LIST & LINKS
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Trend-Setters in Speed:  1929 Travel Air Mystery Ship and Boeing B-47 Stratojet - CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Kansas-built
Trend-Setters in Speed: 1929 Travel Air Mystery Ship and Boeing B-47 Stratojet
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EVENTS / NEWS:
from the Kansas Aviation Centennial Year
NOTE: The following events -- listed in reverse chronological order -- happened during the Kansas Aviation Centennial Year, from Sept.2011 to Sept.2012.
To see our latest EVENTS page for CURRENT events in Kansas Aviation, CLICK HERE.

AUTUMN AIR SHOWS
WRAP UP THE CENTENNIAL

Airshows in:
  • Great Bend (Sep.21-23)
  • Wichita      (Sep.29-30)
  • Syracuse  (Oct.6.)

    Living History Takes Wings All Across the Kansas Prairie As the Kansas Aviation Centennial Year Comes to A Close.

    Experience
    Kansas Aviation History
    FIRST-HAND,
    LIVE & IN-PERSON !

    SEE  LISTINGS 
    BELOW:


    • GREAT BEND (AIRPORT)
      Fri./Sat./Sun., September 21-23, 2012:

      Great Bend AirFest will host a wide range of historic, vintage World War II aircraft -- some built in Kansas -- with the exceptional option of purchasing RIDES in many of them (at a high price), plus more "affordable" quick hops in helicopters or light planes. Plane tours, hob-nobbing with pilots, performances, exhibits, food, live bluegrass and 1940s music, dancing, fireworks, and more!
      For DETAILS: CLICK HERE.

    • WICHITA  (McConnell Air Force Base)
      Sat./Sun., September 29-30, 2012:
      The region's biggest military airshow, on a large air force base, next to the Kansas Aviation Museum; includes the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet fighter demonstration team, U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, jet bus, and more, with many military exhibits, a few civilian exhibits and performers (and more on display at the adjacent museum).
      For DETAILS: CLICK HERE.

    • SYRACUSE
      (SYRACUSE - HAMILTON COUNTY AIRPORT)
      Sat./Sun., Oct. 6, 2012:
      Annual Classic and Antique Fly-In, in far-western Kansas, attracting flyers from throughout the region with wide variety of modern and vintage aircraft -- from powered parachutes and ultralights, to homebuilts, sport pilot / light-sport aircraft, antiques, classics and warbirds.
      For DETAILS: CLICK HERE.


    GLENN L. MARTIN CO.
    100th ANNIVERSARY
    CELEBRATED BY
    LOCKHEED-MARTIN CORP.

    Former Kansan,
    Giant of Aviation History
    -- and His Legendary Company ---
    Commemorated Today
    by His Famous Namesake Company.

    MARIETTA, GA
    August, 16, 2012:

    On the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Glenn L. Martin Company in Santa Ana, Calif., that company's successor -- Lockheed-Martin Corp., a major aerospace manufacturer -- celebrated the achievements of this Kansas-bred giant of world aerospace history -- and his company, still a vital force in aviation a century later.

    Raised and educated in Kansas, relocated to California after college, Martin became one of America's three main aircraft manufacturers at the dawn of aviation -- chief rival to America's aviation industry founders, the Wright brothers (though one was a personal friend) and Glenn Curtiss.

    Of those three great names, only Martin's would remain in aircraft manufacturing for a century. And only Martin would personally command his company until the 1950s, building airliners, jets and missiles. And only Martin would count among his workers the founders of most of the major American aircraft manufacturers of the 20th Century.
    MORE...


    AMELIA EARHART MYSTERY:
    CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS 75th ANNIVERSARY
    OF EARHART'S LAST FLIGHT.

    Re-analyzed Radio Signals Are Revealing
    Say Top Earhart Mystery Buffs.

    WASHINGTON, DC
    Jun. 1-3, 2012:

    On the 75th Anniversary of the start of Amelia Earhart's last flight -- her attempted round-the-world flight in 1937 -- a weekend conference was held in Washington, D.C. by TIGHAR -- an organization specializing in studying Earhart's disappearance.

    The 75th Anniversary TIGHAR conference included reports by various researchers, with new ideas and evidence, in preparation for an attempted expedition to the region later this year. Among their findings: an analysis of radio traffic records that suggest Earhart and Noonan landed, alive, on a South Pacific island....

    MORE... (with pictures)


    NATIONAL BIPLANE FLY-IN
    BRINGS OLD AVIATION TO LIFE!

    JUNCTION CITY (FREEMAN AIRPORT)
    Thurs.-Sat.,
    May 31-June 2, 2012:

    For those who are tired of seeing dusty antique aircraft in museums, here's a chance to see them come alive, roaring through the sky with the excitement of the nation's largest annual gathering for flying biplanes. Dozens of living, breathing, flying antiques -- many built in the 1920s and 1930s, some built in Kansas -- will converge on this north-central Kansas town from all over the country...

    Historic exhibits, a flight-simulator for kids... Lots of opportunities to examine these planes up close, see and photograph them cavorting in the sky, and visit with the owners and pilots of these great living antiques...

    For Kansans, this is one of the most affordable, accessible aviation events this year...

    MORE...


    Butler Community College
    FREE Kansas Aviation History Show
     Comes to Butler County

      Kansas Aviation Centennial
    EL DORADO
    Friday, Apr. 17, 2012:

    The "Life Enrichment" Series of Butler Community College, will host a presentation of the show "Born Here: Kansas Aviation History", Friday, Apr. 17, at 10:15-11:15am -- free to the public -- at...
    Stone/Clifford Room in the
    Welcome Center, Building 2000
    Butler Community College
    901 S. Haverhill Road
    El Dorado
    ...presented by the chairman of the Kansas Aviation Centennial, aviation writer/historian Richard Harris.

    This popular show -- funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, and presented at venues throughout the state, to rave reviews -- is a dynamic slide show and lecture, rich with historic and action photos, nuggets of tantalizing Kansas aviation secrets, and great, historic Kansas aviation legends -- from 1900 to the present -- that have shaped world aviation today.

    Included are topics from the rich aviation history of Butler County and neighboring Wichita -- including...

    • The Butler County oil boom, which brought the wildcatter wealth that fueled the start of Wichita's aviation industry.
    • Wichita-area "Golden Age" airplane pioneers like Laird/Swallow, Cesssna, Stearman, Beech, Culver and Mooney.
    • World War II bomber manufacturing at Boeing-Wichita (staffed largely with Butler County workers), which later produced jet bombers, and today -- as Spirit Aerosystems -- builds key sections of all Boeing jetliners, including most of the Boeing 737, the world's most popular airliner;
    • McConnell Air Force Base, which hosted development of modern air-to-air refueling, trained combat pilots for four wars, and today -- hosting the largest fleet of aerial tankers -- is the linchpin of the Air Force's global reach.
    • Today's leading civilian jet aircraft manufacturers, The World's fastest civilian jet aloft -- the Cessna Citation X (or Ten) all either headquartered or operating in the area: Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier/ Learjet, Cessna and Hawker-Beechcraft.
    • Andover facilities of Hawker-Beechcraft's Military Division, developing and producing high-tech military aerospace equipment.
    • Popular Butler County airports -- at El Dorado, Benton, Rose Hill and Augusta, that have served as aviation-movie sites, home of regional aircraft distributors, and nationally known sites of aircraft assembly, modification and restoration, hosted national fly-ins (of historic aircaft), and are home to many active antique aircraft.
    -- as well as a whole state full of aviation history.

    Come see the Kansas aviation story!

    MORE...


    Johnson County Community College
    FREE Kansas Aviation History Show
     Comes to Johnson County

      Kansas Aviation Centennial
    OVERLAND PARK
    Friday, Mar. 30, 2012:

    The "Black and Gold" Club, alumni association of Johnson County Community College, will host a presentation of the show "Born Here: Kansas Aviation History", Friday, Mar. 30, at 3pm -- free to the public -- at...
    Johnson County Community College
    Carlsen Center, Room 211
    12345 College Blvd
    Overland Park
    ...presented by the chairman of the Kansas Aviation Centennial, aviation writer/historian Richard Harris.

    This popular show -- funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, and presented at venues throughout the state, to rave reviews -- is a dynamic slide show and lecture, rich with historic and action photos, nuggets of tantalizing Kansas aviation secrets, and great, historic Kansas aviation legends -- from 1900 to the present -- that have shaped world aviation today.

    Included are topics from the rich aviation history of Johnson County and neighboring Kansas City (Ks. & Mo. both) -- including...

    • "Golden Age" biplane and sportplane makers like American Eagle, Butler, Porterfield, Inland Sport, Rearwin / Commonwealth and Luscombe;
    • World War II bomber manufacturing at North American's Fairfax Airport plant, and fighter engine building at the General Motors plant, which later produced jet fighters;
    • TWA (at its peak, the world's largest airline) long based in Kansas City (both sides of the river), and the area's biggest employer -- gone today, but commemorated by the Airline History Museum at KC Downtown Airport;
    • The Olathe Naval Air Station (a major WWII Navy air base, active long after the war);
    • Today's leading general aviation avionics producers, founded and based in Olathe:  Bendix/King
             & Garmin;

    • ...and more...
    -- as well as a whole state full of aviation history.

    Come see the Kansas aviation story!

    MORE...


    AMELIA EARHART SEARCH GETS BOOST FROM
    U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE

    WASHINGTON, D.C.
    March 20, 2012:

    March 20th, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a public event to celebrate the achievements of Kansas pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart, "...and the United States’ ties to our Pacific neighbors."

    Apparently implied was State Dept. encouragement for searchers planning an expedition to find the remains of Earhart's last flight -- her 1937 round-the -world flight attempt, with navigator Fred Noonan. South Pacific diplomats, Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard and other searchers were among the invited guests...

    Noting it was Women's History Month, Clinton remarked that, ever since childhood, she had admired -- and been inspired by -- Kansas-bred Earhart, who, “when it was really hard, decided she was going to break all kinds of limits – social limits, gravity limits, distance limits...”

    MORE... (with historic background, pictures and official news releases)


    Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum
    "Greatest Generation" Exhibit
     Opens with FREE Show on
     Kansas Aviation History

      Wichita / Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 200 S. Main, Wichita
    WICHITA
    Saturday, 2pm, Feb.18, 2012:

    Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum will hold a presentation of the show "Born Here: Kansas Aviation History", Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2pm -- free to the public -- presented by the chairman of the Kansas Aviation Centennial, aviation writer/historian Richard Harris.

    This popular show, first presented at the Museum in January, to rave reviews -- a dynamic slide show and lecture -- is rich with historic and action photos, nuggets of tantalizing Kansas aviation secrets, and great, historic Kansas aviation legends -- from 1900 to the present -- that have shaped world aviation today.

    The show introduces a national traveling exhibit -- "Our Lives, Our Stories: The Greatest Generation" -- about those who survived the ravages of the 1930s' Great Depression, rose to the challenges of World War II, and built the United States into the world's foremost military and economic power.

    In those years, Kansas aviation grew explosively, transforming the "Wheat State" into a global aviation giant.

    Come see the Kansas aviation story!

    MORE...


    Kansas Aviation Museum
    FREE Open House
    &
    New Cessna Exhibit

    WICHITA Dec.8, 2011:

    Kansas Aviation Museum's FREE Open House -- highlighting its new Cessna Aircraft exhibit -- is open to the public, free, from 4pm to 7pm, Thursday only. Clyde Cessna in 'Silverwings', 1912 - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE Includes large NEW exhibit about Cessna aircraft and their history.

    In 1911, Kansas native Clyde Cessna, while working in Oklahoma, became the first aviator to build and fly an airplane on the Great Plains. He became a leader in U.S. airplane design, with his planes famed for speed and efficiency. The World's fastest civilian jet aloft -- the Cessna Citation X (or Ten)

    In the hands of his nephew, Dwane Wallace, Clyde's company would rise to the leadership of the world's general aviation industry -- making Cessna the world's highest-volume producer of aircraft, as the exhibit shows...
    MORE...


    AMELIA EARHART
    PHOTOS, DOCUMENTS
    DISCOVERED IN CALIFORNIA

    SOUTHERN CALIFORNA
    Nov. 23, 2011:

    Long lost photos and documents connected with Amelia Earhart's last flight -- her 1937 round-the-world flight attempt in a Lockheed Electra -- have surfaced in Southern California. NBC News Los Angeles Bureau found these images and papers in the hands of a quiet LA physician.

    The discovery includes photos of Kansas native Earhart -- then the world's most famous woman -- with people close to her in her last days (including Hollywood's leading stunt flyer, Paul Mantz, who helped her plan the last flight). Also found, among the papers, is a key document that should have been with her on the missing plane (shown behind her on this 1963 commemorative U.S. postage stamp)...

    MORE... (with pictures, from MSNBC.com)

    Amelia Earhart's Story...
    (Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum,
     Atchinson, Ks.)


    ELECTRIC MODEL PLANES FLOCK TO
    CENTRAL PLAINS E-FLY SPECTACULAR

    WICHITA AREA
    (Hartman Arena, Park City,
    just north of Wichita, on I-135)
    Nov. 11-13, 2011:

    Imagine an indoor airshow, with a hundred tiny airplanes. The 4th Annual Central Plains E-Fly Spectacular, (Fri./Sat.8am-10pm and Sun.morning, Nov. 11-13, 2011) gathers over 100 model-airplane enthusiasts from throughout the state, region, and country, to show off their electric-powered miniature flying machines -- model airplanes, helicopters and other contraptions -- and compete with one another in the air. Public admission...

    MORE...


    VETERANS' DAY, 2011:
    Pratt Remembers WWII Airmen
    Who Trained at Pratt Army Air Field

    PRATT:
    Nov.11, 2011

    On Veterans' Day, Friday, ceremonies were conducted in memory of the thousands of Pratt-area veterans of all generations -- with particular commemoration of the World War II airmen who trained there, at Pratt Army Air Field. Most of those airmen entered combat immediately afterward... some perishing in the conflict.

    The ceremony was the finale of a week of Veteran's Day observances in and around Pratt... MORE...


    Annual Kansas Aviation Gala
    WICHITA (Hyatt Hotel):
    Nov. 5, Sat. 6pm.,

    Saturday evening Awards Dinner & Fundraising Banquet for the Kansas Aviation Museum, at the Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Wichita. Featuring legendary Hall of Fame aviators Clay Lacy & "Tex" Johnston, with former Kansas Congressional Representative Todd Tiahrt. Lacy & Johnston will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Governor's Aviation Awards will be presented.
    MORE:   K.A.M. Events Calendar and Press Release


    Kansas Air Guard Unit:
    70th Reunion & New Mission.
    ,

    WICHITA, (McConnell AFB, Kansas Aviation Museum)
    Nov. 5, 2011:

    One of most trend-setting Air National Guard units in the nation gathered privately for a reunion late Friday, at the Kansas Aviation Museum. The 184th Air Guard Wing, headquartered at Wichita' McConnell Air Force Base, was a flying operation for 66 years -- from fighter jets to tankers, and the first Guard unit to have heavy bombers (B-1B). Only recently did the 184th shed its airplanes for an intelligence mission -- the first such Air Guard unit in the nation.

    The 184th, based at McConnell AFB, is a part of one of the oldest Air National Guards in the nation, the Kansas Air National Guard. The Kansas Guard's first plane and pilot were products of Kansas' first aviator, Albin Longren. Longren taught Phillip Billard, Jr. to fly, then sold him an airplane -- which Billard used in his role as the first aviator in the Kansas National Guard, before World War I. Following World War II, with the formation of the U.S. Air Force, aviation operations of most National Guard units were assigned to the new "AirNational Guard" units in each state.

    MORE: (Wichita Eagle., Sat., Nov.5, 2011)

  • "Missions change, but team endures";
  • "The Kansas Air National Guard’s changing roles." ...,

    Newspaper special feature:
    "Military Service a Kansas Tradition"

    Wichita Eagle, Sat., Nov. 6, 2011:
    (A Veteran's Day week special report:  Summary review and details on Kansas military service history,
    including military airmen and leaders, their experiences, achievements, numbers, and history.)

    During the last 100 years, Kansas has produced many thousands of military aviation personnel. Among them have been thousands of aviators -- including one of the first to earn the Medal of Honor in World War I, and thousands of World War II aviators -- many (probably most) of whom experienced flight training from Kansas airfields or in Kansas-built military aircraft.

    Other military offspring of Kansas include America's "first jet ace," James Jabara, and many of the combat pilots of the Korean and VietNam wars and subsequent conflicts -- and countless leaders in U.S. military aviation, including a recent Air Force Chief of Staff, a recent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of Defense for Presidents Bush and Obama, the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, and a U.S. Commander-in-Chief -- President Eisenhower.) MORE...


    Kansas Museums Assn. Annual Conference
    OLATHE OCT.26-28, 2011:

    Museum executives, officers and staffers from throughout the state gather to confer on museum issues. Wichita's "Kansas Aviation Museum" (right) receives top preservation award for preservation of the old Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building, in which the museum now resides.
    MORE... (KMA newsletter, June 7, 2011, page 5)


    Kansas Agricultural Aviation Assn. Convention
    HUTCHINSON (Grand Prairie Hotel): 
    OCT..24-26, 2011:

    53rd Annual KAAA Convention meets to share issues in Agricultural Aviation (particularly cropdusting), present reports & exhibits, and conduct educational seminars.


    AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORICAL
    SOCIETY SHOWCASES
    KANSAS AVIATION HISTORY

    HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA,
    Autumn, 2011-
    AAHS Flightline newsletter; click to view

    America's leading aviation history organization, the American Aviation Historical Society, has selected Kansas aviation history topics for the cover story on both its quarterly AAHS Journal magazine, and its quarterly AAHS Flightline newsletter.
        AAHS's Flightline newsletter opens with the announcement of the 100th Anniversary of Kansas Aviation (Sept.2011, the start of the Kansas Aviation Centennial). It summarizes the history of the first Kansas airplane aviator, Topeka's Albin Longren, and his effects on Kansas and aviation, and also notes (with data) the massive impact of Kansas on U.S. and world aviation. The whole newsletter article can be read on the AAHS website (click here)... . AAHS Journal; click to view .
    Also, recently released, the AAHS Journal's cover story is about Wichita's 1929 Travel Air Mystery Ship racer, which radically changed the face of air racing, and effectively introduced multiple advanced airplane design features to American aviation. An excerpt and photos from the Journal article are on the AAHS website (click here)... .

    For more examples of Kansas aviation topics mentioned on the cover of recent issues of leading aviation magazines, click here... .


    HISTORIC AVIATOR
    DICK RUTAN
    SPEAKS IN TOPEKA

    TOPEKA, Oct. 15-
    Famed aviator Dick Rutan, highly decorated combat fighter pilot -- who, in 1986, commanded the first non-stop, un-refueled, round-the-world flight with Jeana Yeager in the "Voyager" -- spoke at the Youth Leadership Awards Banquet in Topeka, this Saturday. Over 250 attended this $50-a-plate fundraiser to help the nation's oldest Aviation Explorer Post provide aviation training for young people.
      MORE... .


    WICHITA'S CON AIR 2011
    MODEL SHOW & CONTEST;
    KAC AWARDS PRESENTED

    WICHITA, Oct. 15-
    The annual ConAir2011 Model Show & Contest -- at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita -- included elegant models depicting aspects of Kansas Aviation History. The commander of the Kansas Air National Guard, and survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, were there to present awards, visit with the audience, and highlight the show's military theme. KAC awards were presented for models best representing Kansas Aviation History.
      MORE... .


    GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS
    KANSAS AVIATION CENTENNIAL

    TOPEKA, Sept, 21-
    Acting on information from the Kansas Aviation Centennial Committee, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today signed a proclamation declaring September, 2011 as the start of the Kansas Aviation Centennial.
      MORE... .


    WICHITA CELEBRATION
    KICKS OFF
    KANSAS AVIATION CENTENNIAL

    WICHITA, Sept, 18-
    The Kansas Aviation Centennial got off to a rousing start, in Wichita, the "Air Capital City," Sept, 18, Sunday afternoon, in Wichita. The event was the start of a year-long commemoration and celebration of Kansas's rich aviation heritage.
      MORE... .


    FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact the:
    Kansas Aviation Centennial Committee
    Richard Harris, Chairman,
    (316) 371-9079
    office@ks100aviation.org

     


  • Join us in celebrating
    a Century of Kansas Aviation!

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