On April 8, 1920 a Laird Swallow, the first commercially produced airplane in the United States, made its first flight over Wichita, Kansas. Since then Kansas has developed into the Air Capital of the World boasting industry leaders like Boeing-Wichita, Cessna, Bombardier/Learjet and Raytheon/Beech. Kansas annually produces approximately 60% of the western world’s general aviation aircraft. The state’s current range of available products includes not only complete aircraft, but everything required to build and equip them.
Kansas’ long and storied aviation history began soon after World War I and included names like Cessna, Beech, Swallow, Steer, Mooney, Swift, and later, Lear. Numerous advancements like the modern altimeter and the King Radio also came out of the Kansas aviation community.
The space program also benefited from Kansas research. Besides being home to three astronauts, Kansas developed the first stage of the Saturn rocket that put men on the moon and created breathing systems used on all Apollo flights and current space shuttle missions.
Today, Kansas is home to industry specialists like The National Institute for Aviation Research, Kansas Aircraft Design and Manufacturing Research Center, Kansas NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the Kansas Space Grant Consortium. Many of the research endeavors utilize the capabilities of the state’s university system with financial and professional support from the Kansas aerospace community.
If you require aircraft, aircraft engines, avionics, ground support equipment, airport systems, aircraft instruments, navaid systems, deicing and anti-icing systems or 21st century research and development, Kansas aviation has it all.
Source: Kansas Aerospace Directory/Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing