Kansas Aviation Historical Anniversaries

Recorded Events, Beginnings, Activities and First Flights

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Topeka 1 Longren “Topeka 1”, The first Kansas built aircraft to fly in Kansas is piloted by A. K. Longren near Topeka, KS.


2 War production forces Beech to move into plant additions before heating installed, 1941.
The Cessna Citation Soverign took flight for the first time, 2002.
3 Cessna 310 made first flight at Wichita, Kansas, 1953.
4 Learjet Model 35 first flight test, 1973 with pilots Bob Fisher and Bob Berry
7 Learjet Corp. begins business in Wichita, 1963. NAT awards Travel Air contract for 7 Monoplanes, 1927.
8 First Boeing B-47B rolled out, 1951.
10 B-52H flew non-stop from Okinawa to Madrid breaking 11 world speed & distance records, 1962.
12 W. D. Thompson makes first flight of experimental wing Cessna 210A, 1961.
15 First flight of Beech Model 18 “Twin Beech” (J.N. Peyton), 1937.
18 E.R. Griffin test flies Beech E90 King Air, 1972.
20 Propjet Beech King Air 90 flies for first time (J.D. Webber), 1964.
22 Name change from E. M. Laird Co. to swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co., filed 1924. Experimental Cessna XMC, 2-place pusher, test flown (B.G. Barrett), 1971.
27 1,000th Cessna Citation delivered to Indium Corp., 1982.
29 Clyde Cessna sells his Travel Air stock, resigns as president, 1927. Learjet 28/29 series, first production airplane with winglets, gets FAA certification, 1979.
30 First flight of Boeing B-47E, 1953.
31 Walter H. Beech born, Pulaski, TN, 1891. Cessna Citation II first flight (Leonard Brady), 1977.

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1 Prototype Knoll KN-1 destroyed in crash, 1929.
2 First Learjet Longhorn (50 series) rolls off assembly line, 1979.
4 Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman incorporated Travel Air, Inc. in Kansas, 1925.
7 Robert Timm & John cook sets world endurance record of almost 65 days without landing in a Cessna 172, 1959.
8 Cessna Model 205 test flown (R.W. Stephens), 1962. Boeing XB-47 sets trans-continental speed record of 607.8 mph, 2,289 miles, 1949.
11 Watkins Aircraft Company organized, 1929.
13 First Boeing B-52G delivered to SAC, 1959.
14 Four-place Cessna Light Twin, Model 303 first flight (B.G. Barrett), 1978. Last (Boeing) Stearman PT-17 delivered to Army Air Forces, 1945.
15 Beech Starship 1 first flight, Bud Francis, pilot, Tom Carr, co-pilot, 1986. Walter H. Beech elected President of Travel Air, 1927.
16 Retractable-gear Cessna Cardinal RG flown (L.R. Ikerd), 1970.
18 Cessna Model 309 – boundry layer control test aircraft flown (Hank Waring), 1952.
19 Gates Learjet Model 28 sets time-to-climb to 15,000 meters (49,215 ft.) (Neil Armstrong/Pete Reynolds/John Plunkett). 1979. Cessna 188 Agwagon maiden flight (R.D. Reagan), 1965.
20 Henry Beaird in Learjet 25 sets time-to-climb record to 40,000 feet in 6-minutes, 19-seconds, 1968.
21 Associated Aircraft Company formed, 1929.
24 Learjet Model 24 first flight (Jim Kirkpatrick/Bob Fisher), 1966.
25 Cessna 210 prototype, with high wing and retractable landing gear, makes first flight (Bob Crashaw), 1957.
26 Model 404 Titan test flown by Cessna, 1957.
28 Revolutionary Cessna 336 Skymaster first flight (Bill Thompson). 1961.

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1 Seibel Helicopter Co. acquired by Cessna, 1952. First Boeing B-47A rolls out at Wichita, 1950.
2 Stearman delivers first U.S. military airplanes built in Wichita – 3 YPT 9’s for U. S. Army Air Corps., 1931.
6 Boeing B-52H makes first flight at McConnell AFB, 1961.
7 Wichita Airplane Manufacturing Company formed, 1929.
9 Capt. Bill Odom lands “Waikiki Beech” Bonanza at Teterboro, NJ after record 4,957 mile flight from Honolulu, 1949.
13 Irl Beach pilots first Travel Air on initial flight, 1925.
17 Beech King Air 100 first flight (Francis/Contractor), 1969.
18 First RB-47E rolled out at Boeing-Wichita, 1953.
25 Boeing-Wichita Plant II reopened for B-29 modification program, 1948. Ground broken for new Cessna plant on east franklin (Pawnee) Rd., 1929.
26 Dwane Wallace flies first Cessna twin, Model T50, on first flight, 1939.
28 1,000th Learjet is delivered to Eaton Corp., in Ohio, 1980.
30 Cessna 337 Super Skymaster makes first flight (R.B. Kemper), 1964.
31 Wichita Municipal Airport terminal building dedicated, 1935.

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Staggerwing Beech 17R “Staggerwing”, The first aircraft built by Beech Aircraft. 785 of these executive aircraft were built.


1 Beech Aircraft formed, 1932. The second Learjet built is put on permanent display at National Air & Space Museum, 1978.
4 Al Mooney takes off in the new Mooney Low Wing, on non-stop transcontinental record attempt from Glendale, CA to Long Island, 1930.
5 Al Mooney’s record attempt ends near Ft. Wayne, IN for an unofficial record of 1,980 miles in 22 hours and 27 minutes, 1930.
6 Varney Airlines pilot, Leon Cuddeback, makes first contract airmail flight (CAM 5) from Pasco, WA to Elko, NV in a Swallow mail plane, 1926.
8 Cessna P-260 cargo plane for USAAF, test flown (Carl Winstead), 1943. 500th Learjet, a Model 24D is delivered to Mexican Navy, 1975. Matty Laird flies first Laird Swallow on initial hop, 1920.
13 Beech U-21A prototype (Model 65) first flown (A.W. Scheu), 1967.
15 First production B-29 completed at Boeing-Wichita, 1943. Geared-engine Cessna 175 test flown (R.W. Stephens), 1957. Travel Air 6,000 first flight piloted by Clarence Clark, 1928.
16 Mooney Aircraft Company started, 1929.
19 Kansas Aviation Museum opened, 1991. Learjet Longhorn 54/55/56, with winglets, makes maiden flight (Ed Chaplin/Bob Fisher/Jim Dwyer), 1979.
22 Cessna 187 test flown by W.H. Ohmsieder, 1968.

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1 Wichita’s first airport near Bridgeport plant, dedicated, 1919. reorganization creates the Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing Airplane Company, 1938.
6 First flight of B-52F, at Wichita, 1958.
11 Cessna T207 first flown (P.R. Leckman), 1968.
14 First flight of a Wichita-built B-52D, 1956.
15 Beech Model 87 (Military NU-8F) first flight (S.C. Tuttle), 1963.
19 Golfer Arnold Palmer captains a Learjet 36 on a record 57 hr., 26 min. around-the-world flight, to mark U. S. Bicentennial, 1976. Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower makes his first solo flight in a Stearman PT, 1937.
20 Wichita’s Maj. James Jabara becomes world’s first Jet Ace; is Triple Ace by war’s end, 1951.
21 Learjet 23 breaks coast-to-coast speed records both eastbound and westbound, 1965.
22 Clyde Cessna replaces Walter P. Innes, Jr. as President of Travel Air, Inc., 1925.
23 Jacob M. Moellendick, father of Wichita Aviation, born, 1873.
24 Learjet 24 circles Earth in 50-1/2 hours flying time, setting 18 world records, 1966.
25 R. S. Hagan takes Beech Model 56 TC Turbo Baron on maiden flight, 1966.
26 Hank Waring pilots Cessna 180 prototype on first flight, 1952.
27 Cessna becomes first company in the world to produce 100,000 airplanes, 1972.
30 Cessna 650 Citation III, with swept wings, makes first flight (Leonard/Brady), 1979.

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1 Cessna Model 1034 XMC with ducted fan makes initial flight (B.G. Barrett), 1972.
2 Swift Aircraft Corporation organized, 1928.
5 Beech XA-38 “Grizzly” first flight (Vern Carstens), 1944.
6 Boeing B-52H flies 11,303 miles from Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, to set new world record, 1962.
8 Cessna, Beech and Boeing-Wichita ordered to build 1,500 CG-4 Gliders by Oct. 1, 1942.
10 Stearman buys 30 acres from Swift Aircraft Co., on South Oliver Rd., 1953.
11 First flight of CR-3 racer built by Clyde and Eldon Cessna, 1933.
12 Cessna Model 172 first test flight, 1955. Beech experimental flight trainer, Model 16, test flown (M.R. Donaldson), 1970.
13 Buckley LC-4 “Wichcraft” receives Dept. of Commerce approval 2-359, 1931.
14 Beech Starship 1 becomes first all-composite pressurized aircraft certified by FAA, 1988. Last Cessna A37B rolls out at Wallace Division, 1977. Clyde Cessna builds and flies a 4-place cabin Monoplane at Travel Air Field, 1926.
15 Supreme Propeller Company moved to Wichita from Dayton, Ohio, 1928.
22 S. C. Tuttle takes Beech Model 80 Queen Air on first hop, 1961. Last B-52H rolls off line, completing B-52 production at Wichita, 1962.
23 Beech Model 58 Baron makes first flight (R.R. Stone), 1969.
24 Ground broken for construction of Boeing-Wichita Plant II, 1941. Lloyd Stearman resigns from Stearman Aircraft Company, 1930.
25 First B-47A makes maiden flight at Boeing-Wichita, 1950.
26 First Wichita-built B-52D delivered to SAC, 1956.
28 Cessna Model 140 test flown, 1945.
29 First Boeing-Wichita built YB-29 flies, 1943.

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Boeing B-29 Boeing B-29 “Superfortress”, A trio of Wichita-built B-29s in formation. 40 percent of all B-29s were built in Wichita.


2 Beech Model 88 Queen Air first flown (J.D. Webber), 1965.
3 First flight of Boeing RB-47E Recon Aircraft, 1953.
5 Clyde Cessna sets U. S. speed record of 124.6 mph in flight from Blackwell, OK to Wichita, KS in Comet, 1917.
7 Cessna Model 1023, a Model 177 powered by C. W. Wankel engine test flown (L.R. Ikerd), 1971. Learjet Model 55 sets sustained altitude record of 52,000 ft. (B. Stillwell/D. Lennox), 1983. Cessna Pressurized Skymaster (T337G) first flight (P.R. Leckman), 1971.
9 Prescott Pusher first flight (Tom Prescott), 1985.
11 Walter H. Beech makes his first solo flight in Curtiss Pusher, 1914.
13 Boeing-Wichita XL-15 Scout observation plane first flight, 1947.
14 Bronte & Smith fly prototype Travel Air 5000 to Hawaii – first commercial aircraft to do so, 1927.
15 William Robinson test flies Cessna 177 Cardinal, 1966.
16 Cessna Model 152 test flown by W. K. Bergman, 1976.
17 Ace Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation formed, 1929.
20 Neil Armstrong, Commander of Apollo II, becomes first man to set foot on the moon; Beech gas storage system part of Apollo II spacecraft, 1969.
23 First Boeing B-52G rolled out, 1958.
27 Stearman C-3B Sport Commercial receives approved type certificate, 1928.
28 B-47 sets trans-atlantic record of 4-3/4 hours at 617.4 mph, 1953.
31 Learjet 23 received type certificate, 1964. Pat Boling leaves Manila on record-setting 6,856 mile non-stop flight to Pendleton, OR in Beech Bonanza, 1958.

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1 C. V. Cessna CR-3 racer destroyed after Johnny Livingston bails out at Columbus, OH, 1933.
3 Delivery of last Boeing RB-47E, 1955.
6 Beech Model 95 Travel Air first flight (S.C. Tuttle), 1956.
9 Bob Faris sets World Distance record for Light Airplanes flying his 1,075 lb. Mooney Mite from Wichita, KS to Montpelier, VT, 1952.
10 Stearman Model 6A delivered to U.S. Army Air Corps at Wright Field, OH, for testing, 1930. Cessna C-34 Airmaster test flown by George Hart, 1934.
11 Cessna Model 620, 4-engine business liner makes initial flight, 1956.
12 Learjet Model 25 makes first flight (Hank Beaird/Tom Seay), 1966.
13 Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co., goes into bankruptcy, 1927.
17 The Woolaroc, a Travel Air MA5000, wins Dole Race to Hawaii, 1927.
18 Travel Air Model R “Mystery Ship” makes first test hop, with Clarence Clark at the controls, 1929.
19 “Dallas Spirit” especially built for the $25,000 Dole Race by the Swallow airplane Mfg. Co. is lost enroute to Hawaii during second attempt, 1927. Cessna Model 321 (USMC OE-2) observation aircraft test flown (Robert L. Crawshaw), 1954.
24 Learjet Model 28/29 first flight (Pete Reynolds/John Plunkett/Bob Fisher), 1977.
26 Cessna Model 401/402 prototype first flight (Robert L. Crawshaw), 1965.
27 Cessna Model R182 Skylane RG test flown by T.E. Wallis, 1976. Cessna receives approved type certificate for Model “A” with Anzani engine, 1928.
28 Learjet introduces long range Models 35/36, 1973. Beech Queen Air (Model 65) test flown by S.C. Tuttle, 1958.
29 Beech flies 85-percent-scale prototype of Starship 1 in Mojave, CA, 1983.
30 Travel Air “Special” makes first flight – on it’s trip to Tulsa Air Meet, 1925.

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2 A. K. Longren builds and flies first airplane built in Kansas, at Topeka, 1911.
3 Last of 1,399 Learjets built in Wichita, a Model 35A, rolls out-the-door; assembly moved to Tuscon, AZ, 1985.
4 Transcontinental Learjet 25C and 10-place 25B receive FAA certification, 1970.
7 Stearman Aircraft Company incorporated in Kansas, 1927.
8 Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company formed, 1927.
10 Cessna Model 182 makes first flight (E.B. Feutz), 1955. Three special-purpose Learjet 35A Models delivered to Finnish Air Force, 1982.
12 Boeing XB-47 rolls out at Seattle, 1947. First of 23,839 Cessna 2-place Model 150 makes test flight (Bill Thompson), 1957.
13 Cessna Model 425 propjet first flight by Rick Trissell, 1978. Cessna CH-1 helicopter prototype operates from Pike’s Peak; first ‘copter to do so, 1955.
14 Beech Model 33 Debonair first flight (S.C. Tuttle), 1959.
15 Beech Model 24R Musketeer Super R test flown (M.R. Donaldson), 1963. Cessna Fanjet 500 flies; renamed Citation (Sills/LeSueur), 1969.
20 B-47 makes first jet flight over North Pole, 1951.
22 “Texaco No. 13” Travel Air Model R Racer forced down in Mass., never flown again, 1932.
23 Last B-52G rolls out at Boeing-Wichita, 1960.
27 Stearman Aircraft Co., re-established in Wichita after moving from Venice, CA, 1927.
28 3 Travel Air biplanes enter 1925 Ford Reliability Tour.
29 Jayhawk Aircraft Corp. organized, becoming Wichita’s 17th aircraft company, 1929.
30 First B-52H rolls from Boeing-Wichita production line, 1960.

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Skyhawk Cessna 172 “Skyhawk”, More airplanes of this model have been built than any other type in the history of aviation.


1 Pressurized Centurion, Cessna Model P210N first flight (L.R. Ikead), 1976. Four-engine, twin prop Beech Model 34 “Twin Quad” test flown by V. L. Carstens, 1947.
2 Cessna Skylane RG is last aircraft to be built at Pawnee plant, 1985.
3 First flight of B-52E, in Wichita, 1957.
6 Cessna P10, twin-engined trainer first flight, 1941. Lt. E. R. Bleckley (of Wichita) observer, and Lt. Goettler, pilot, killed in action while making historic aerial resupply drop to the lost Battalion; first airmen to get Medal of Honor, 1918.
7 First Learjet (Model 23) makes first test flight (Hank Beaird/Bob Hagan), 1963.
8 Roy Knabenshue thrills Wichitans with first exhibitions of flight in his 40 hp dirigible, 1908.
10 National Air Congress Exhibition and Races held in Wichita, 1924.
11 W. A. (Felix) Knoll, German designer, to head newly formed Knoll Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, 1928.
12 Bob Hagan takes Cessna XT-37 jet trainer on first flight, 1954.
14 Cessna’s first pressurized-cabin aircraft, Model 421, makes first flight, 1965. 1,000th B-47 rolls off the Boeing production line, at Wichita, 1954.
15 Beech Model 19 Musketeer Sport test flown by M.R. Donaldson, 1965. Experimental Cessna 182 with Dow/Windecker plastic wing test flown (W.M. Robinson), 1965.
17 Cessna T303 Crusader test flown by T.E. Wallis, 1979.
23 Beech Model 23 Musketeer first flight (S.C. Tuttle), 1961.
24 Last of more than 1,300 Boeing-built B-47’s delivered to USAF, 1956.
25 Beech Model 99 Airliner first flown (J.D. Webber), 1966.
26 First of 193 B-52G test flown, 1958. Last Boeing B-52H delivered to SAC, 1962.
27 Beech Model 101, King Air 200, first flight (Webber/Francis), 1972.
28 Dwane L. Wallace elected President of Cessna Aircraft Company at age 25, 1936.

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1 Movie star Wallace Beery orders first Laird Aircraft Corporation, “Whippoorwill”, 1927.
4 Pete Hill test flies the first Beech airplane, the famous Model 17R “Staggerwing”, 1932.
13 Al W. Mooney makes first flight of Mooney AX “Low Wing”, 1929.
15 Beech Model 50 Twin Bonanza makes first flight (V.L. Carstens), 1949.
19 Beech Model 24 Musketeer Super, test flown (M.R. Donaldson), 1965.
21 Clyde Cessna, founder of Cessna Aircraft, dies, 1954.

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2 Vern Carstens pilots Beech T-34 prototype on first flight, 1948.
4 Four-place Cessna Model 327 Center-Line-Thrust aircraft test flown (G.M. Baker), 1967.
6 Native Kansas Capt. Ronald Evans (USN) is command module pilot, on Apollo 17, holds record for time in lunar orbit, 1972.
7 First flight of Cessna 190 by Carl winstead, 1945.
8 Stearman delivers its first Wichita-built airplane to Varney Airlines, 1927.
9 The “New Swallow” designed by Lloyd Stearman first flown, 1923. Cessna 208 Caravan I, single-engine turbo prop utility aircraft first flight (W.K. Bergman), 1982.
13 War time employment hits 29,795 at Boeing-Wichita, 1943.
14 The famous Cessna Model 305 (L-19) flies, 1949. Olive Ann Beech elected President of Beech Aircraft Corporation, 1950.
15 King Radio Corporation formed in Olathe, KS, 1959.
17 Wright brothers make first successful manned powered flight (1903) giving birth to the aviation entrepreneurial spirit in Kansas, eventually leading to Wichita being named, “Air Capital of the World.”
18 Beech Model 73A Jet Mentor – first Beech jet, test flown by T.G. Gillespie, 1955.
20 Beech 17-R negative stagger biplane receives approved type certificate, 1932.
22 Beech Model 35, the world famous V-Tail Bonanza, first flown (V.L. Carstens), 1945.
23 B-47 breaks it’s own trans-atlantic record by averaging 650.5 mph, 1953.
28 U.S. Army Capt. Bowman sets world helicopter altitude record of 30,355 feet in a Cessna YH-41, 1957.
29 Beech Model 60 Duke, first flight (R.S. Hagan), 1966.
30 Knoll KN-1 makes successful first flight, 1928.
31 Victor Roos leaves Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company. reincorporated as the Cessna Aircraft Company, 1927. First flight of the Cessna Model 120, 1945.

Source: The Kansas Aviation Museum Archives, 1999. Aviation historians with knowledge of additional historical events, beginnings, activities and first flights, please forward that information to [email protected]. for updates and revision. Thank you!