Aviation is the most recognizable thing about Wichita. Wichita, Kansas is known to be the air capital of the world. Wichita is well-known today because of the manufacturing of aircraft. Before Boeing made a footprint in the legacy of Wichita, there was another company that started the whole industry.
The name of that company was called E.M Laird and started in 1920. The men who were apart of this company were Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyed Stearman. There were other small aviation companies around the state. E.M Laird put Kansas on the map. Wichita's aviation industry is known to be the best in the world.
Stearman planes had the double wings. Stearman started his own company and moved it to Wichita from California in 1926. Cessna Aircraft was formed by Clyde in 1927, Beechcraft was formed by Walter Beech in 1932 after he sells his aviation company called Travel air. The company that bought it was the precursor to Boeing.
It was the Boeing plants that built the B-29 bomber planes during the war. All companies built planes to assist in the second world war. There are several changes to the names of aircraft companies in Wichita today. In 1994, Beechcraft was now changed to Raytheon.
In 2017 Textron aviation is a company that combined Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft industries. Another company that is called Spirit Aero systems was founded in 2005. They are the world's largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer. They build several parts that go on the Boeing 737 and 787 jets.
A famous aircraft has been restored which took 15 years to rebuild. The plane is known as Doc. Doc is also called the "B-29 Super Fortress."
Doc is one of two restored B-29 bombers that are airworthy. Doc was rescued from a California desert fifteen years ago. It was brought back home to Wichita to be restored. Most of the people that were still living fifteen years ago and built these planes during the second world war. Came back to help restore Doc.
Some have passed on during the restoration time. With a lot of blood, sweat and tears, Doc takes to the sky for the first time in 60 years. One of the riveters was there to see the first flight. Her working name was Rosie The Riveter. She became a symbol of the women who helped build munitions and aircraft during the second world war.
She riveted certain sections of the plane back in the forties when Doc Was first being built. There was a somewhat of a fight to keep Doc in Wichita. Doc is now housed in a hanger at McConnell Air Force Base, but soon a special hanger will be built for Doc. Some of the original pilots got a chance to fly the plane again during these few times the plane took to the air.
Restoring that plane alone makes Wichita the air capital of the world. History was made and history will continue to be made until the end of time here in the middle of the country.