Created By: Wichita History Walk
Wichita is called the “Air Capital of the World” because of the number of influential airplane designers and builders who started here. In the early years of the airplane industry, the largest such company in Wichita was established here. Travel Air was founded in 1925 by Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, and Clyde Cessna, along with Walter Innes Jr and Daniel Sayre as financial partners. Travel Air quickly became the predominant airplane manufacturing company in Wichita. Their flight testing field was located northwest where the Westside Athletic Field is now located. In 1927, the factories in Wichita accounted for 20% of the total US production of planes, with Travel Air making more than half of those. Over time, the original partners decided to separate; Stearman moved to California and Cessna started his own company in Wichita. In 1930, Travel Air consolidated with Curtis-Wright Corporation and became the “Travel Air Division” of Curtis-Wright and moved to East Douglas Street. The successor of this company eventually became Beech Aircraft.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Wild West Delano