THE KANSAS
 AVIATION
CENTENNIAL

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

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Kansas Aircraft Factories, past & present - CLICK ON MAP TO ENLARGE
Kansas Aircraft Factories,
past & present
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Albin Longren - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Albin K. Longren closeup
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Albin Longren - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Albin K. Longren in his first plane: "Topeka I"
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Albin Longren - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Longren Flyer #1 - "Topeka I," derived from the design of the Curtiss Golden Pusher. First flight, Sept.2, 1911, near Topeka.
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For HIGH-CONTRAST image, CLICK HERE.
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Albin Longren - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Longren's factory building, just north of the Capitol Building, in downtown Topeka, still stands.
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Albin Longren - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Inside Longren airplane factory, where almost everything was done by hand. This is where Longren began developing advanced airplane-manufacturing machines, which would become valuable to aviation of the future.
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Longren patent drawings - CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE

One of Longren's several patents (this one in the mid-1930s) on his process for building hollow-shell aluminum aircraft -- using a "stretch press" for aluminum forming -- drawing on work he'd begun in 1916. His technology would be sought by many manufacturers, and his concept of planemakeing would become the standard way that most aircraft would be built for the rest of the 20th Century.
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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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KANSAS-RELATED AIRCRAFT

Aircraft with exceptional Kansas connections --

  • Built entirely or partially here,
     or
  • Designed entirely or partially here,
     or
  • Flown by Kansas-based airlines,
     or
  • Based at local military bases,
     or
  • Key to important aviation events in Kansas,
     or
  • Flown to fame by Kansas aviators.

Some examples (illustrated by actual U.S. postage stamps; designed/built here, except as noted) include:

ALL AIRCRAFT BY:

  • Cessna Aircraft Co.

  • Beech / Raytheon /
    Hawker-Beechcraft

  • Lear Jet / Gates Learjet /
    Learjet, Inc. of Bombardier
EARLY AIRCRAFT:
  • Longren
  • Laird/Swallow
  • Travel Air
  • Stearman
  • American Eagle
GENERAL AVIATION:
- Past & Present:
  • Helio
  • Culver
  • Alon Aircoupe (Ercoupe revival)
  • Funk
  • Porterfield
  • Rearwin / Commonwealth
  • Inland Sport
  • Rawdon
  • Great Lakes biplane (revived here; Kansan Harold Krier was legendary U.S. acrobatic flying champ with original.)
  • Eagle 150B (Australian import; assembled here)
  • Bell JetRanger helicopter
    (many frames built by Beech; Charles Siebel, Kansan, one of its trio of designers)

    LIGHT SPORT / SINGLE-SEAT:

  • Bede BD-5 Micro / BD-5J Microjet
  • Mooney M-18 Mite
  • Belite
  • RANS
  • Powrachute

    FAMOUS HOMEBUILT DESIGNS:

  • Corben Baby Ace
  • Wichhawk
  • Prescott Pusher
MILITARY & COMMERCIAL:
  • Many BOEING aircraft -
    (some built completely here;
     major sections of the rest built here):
    • Military:
      whole:
      B-29, B-47, B-52.
      part:
      B-17, KC-135, Air Force One.
    • Jetliners:
      part:
      707, 720, 727, 737*, 747, 757*, 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner *737 & 757 structure mostly Wichita-built

  • AIRBUS A380
      (its wings designed here)

  • TWA AIRLINERS:
      (based in Kansas City, KS)
    • Ford & Fokker Trimotor
    • Douglas DC-2 & DC-3
    • Lockheed Constellation
    • Convair 880/990
    • Boeing jetliners:
        707, 720, 727, 737, 747

  • ADDITIONAL WORLD WAR II AIRCRAFT:
    • North American B-25 Mitchell (built here)
    • Consolidated B-24 Liberator
      (crews trained across Kansas)
    • Douglas B-26/A-26 Invader
      (wings, etc., built at Beech & Cessna; crews trained in Ks.)
    • WACO CG-4A invasion glider
      (multiple Kansas mfrs.)

  • MILITARY PLANES BASED and/or BUILT IN KANSAS:
    • Bombers:
      B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26, A-26, B-29,
      B-47, B-52, B-1
    • Fighters/attack planes:
      P-80 / F-80, F-84, F-86,
      F-100, F-105, F-4, F-16,
      Cessna AT-37
    • Tankers:
      KB-29, KB-50, KC-97, KC-135
    • Trainers:
      Stearman PT trainers,
      Cessna Bobcat,
      Beech AT-10, AT-11,
      Beech T-34, T-34C, T-6A Texan II
      Beech T-1A, T-44
      Cessna T-37
      AT-33, T-33, T-38, T-39
    • Recon/Observation/Other:
      Cessna O-1, O-2
      Beech QU-22, RC-12
      Boeing Scout
      Culver PQ-8 / PQ-14
      Air Force One

OTHER NOTABLES:
  • Lockheed Electra
    (Developed by Lloyd Stearman while Lockheed President in Calif.;
    flown by Amelia Earhart; on stamp in background.)

  • Rutan /
    Virgin Atlantic
      "Global Flyer"
    (first non-stop, unrefueled, 'round-the-world airplane solo, flown by Steve Fossett,
    started/ended at Salina, KS Airport; assisted by Kansas State Univ. aviation faculty & students.)

  • Air Force One (Boeing 747)
    (Manufactured as airliner in Washington state; converted into President's plane by Boeing-Wichita)

  • Space Shuttle
    (Shuttle prototype Enterprise commanded by Kansan Joe Engle on its first flight; other Shuttles manned by Kansas astronauts; Wichita-headquartered Learjet built major parts of some Shuttles)

Join us in celebrating
a Century of Kansas Aviation!

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