A Century of Kansas City Aviation History: The Dreamers and the Doers

By George R. Bauer

Most often when Kansas aviation enthusiasts focus on their state’s aviation heritage, Wichita, the Air Capital, is the center of attention. But as George R. Bauer, author of “A Century of Kansas City Aviation History: The Dreamers and the Doers,” rightfully reminds us, Kansas City also holds a central place in the states history of flight. This wonderfully illustrated book contains biographical sketches of persons inducted into the Kansas City Aviation Hall of Fame, telling the stories of people and industries that have shaped and been shaped by aviation, successfully establishing a leadership position for themselves and for the area. They made a significant contribution to the developing aviation industry in Kansas City as far back as 1909, and also to the nation and the world during the first half of the twentieth century.

The book has nine wonderful, historic chapters, full of facts and information only George Bauer could have researched and complied in this intriguing publication. To give you an idea of the chapter content, George starts with, The Skeptics and the Dreamers; Moving the Mail: From Horse to Train to Airplane; Commercial Aviation: The Airlines Begin Moving People; Military Aviation History; Airplane Manufacturers in Kansas City; Cow Pastures, Flying Fields, and Real Airports; A Few Personal Stories and Other Aviation Highlights, and finally ends with Aviation-Related Organizations in the K.C. Area.

George also wrote, Fairfax Ghosts: The “Bomber Builders” and Others Who Made a Difference. This is the story of the 59,337 men and women who built 6,608 Mitchell bombers at the North American Aviation plant in the Fairfax district of Kansas City, Kansas between December 1941 and October 1945. Included are the Kansas City Warbirds, who brought a single B-25 back to Kansas City, restored it and flew it in the air show circuit from 1985 to 1992. The regular edition of this book is sold out, but a few signed and numbered limited edition copies are still available. This book is now a collector’s item.

George R. Bauer is an internationally traveled educator, author, historian and lecturer. Contact George at grbauer@planetkc.com.