Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna, Bill Lear, Lloyd Stearman Bench
Boston Park | 6655 E. Zimmerly St.
Wichita the “Air Capital of the World” got its name thanks to Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna, Bill Lear, and Lloyd Stearman, all who built the companies that laid the groundwork for Wichita’s prominent aviation industry.
Clyde Cessna’s first plane completed in Wichita was Cessna’s “The Comet” in 1917. Walter Beech formed Beech Aircraft Company in 1932, the Model 17R Staggerwing, took flight in November 1932. The worlds most efficient airplane at the time, the Cessna Airmaster, began production in 1935.
WWII causes a boom in the aviation industry, forcing Beech and Cessna to build B-29 bombers together for the military.
In 1925, Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech form Travel Air along with Clyde Cessna after leaving Swallow Airplane Company. In 1927, Beech and Stearman part ways after a disagreement over what type of wings to produce.
Bill Lear moved from Switzerland to Wichita to design the first Learjet, a business jet that took flight in October 1963.