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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1880s to 1920s (Benchmark 4) - Aviation entrepreneurs (Indicator 6) - Clyde Cessna

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Cessna airplane

Cessna airplane
Date: 1911
Photo of "Silver Wings," a Cessna monoplane in flight. The "Silver Wings" was completed by May 1911 and was based on the Bleriot monoplane designed by French aviator and inventor Louis Bleriot.


Clyde Cessna

Clyde Cessna
Date: 1916
Clyde Cessna and his 1916 airplane, the first Cessna aircraft built in Wichita, Kansas. This photo was taken at Beaver, Oklahoma, with part of the Beaver Boosters.


Clyde Cessna

Clyde Cessna
Date: 1917
This photograph shows a group of men including Clyde Cessna (4th from left) posing with the first plane built in Wichita. The image includes a description that reads "a part of the Beaver Boosters, Okla [Oklahoma]."


Clyde Cessna

Clyde Cessna
Creator: Cessna Aircraft Company
Date: 1910s
Clyde Vernon Cessna, 1879-1954, aviation pioneer and founder of Cessna Aircraft Company of Wichita, Kansas, with a Comet airplane that was built in 1917.


Clyde Cessna, aircraft firm founder, passes

Clyde Cessna, aircraft firm founder, passes
Creator: Wichita Eagle
Date: November 21, 1954
This article published in the Wichita Eagle covers the death of aviation pioneer Clyde V. Cessna. Cessna, who died at the age of 74, first became involved with aviation in 1911 when he built and flew his first airplane. By 1917, Cessna moved to Wichita, Kansas, and set up his first factory which produced a six-cylinder powered monoplane.


Travel Air Model 2000

Travel Air Model 2000
Date: 1925
These two photographs show the Travel Air Company's Model 2000 biplane. Powered by air-cooled Wright Whirlwind J-5 engines, many Model 2000s were used as training planes as late as 1942.


Wichita - "The air capital of America" location, terrain and weather make city aviation center

Wichita - "The air capital of America" location, terrain and weather make city aviation center
Creator: Wichita [magazine]
This article, published in the August 1927 edition of The Wichita, covers Wichita's status as the air capital of America, as well as the many manufacturers that helped give the city such a distinction. In addition, the piece covers the achievements of the Laird Swallow factory, the fact that the city has six significant airplane factories, the achievements of the Travel Air Company, and the history and work of Clyde Cessna.


Wichita air firms complete 974 planes

Wichita air firms complete 974 planes
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: December 31, 1927
This article sums up the accomplishments of the many Kansas airplane manufacturing companies since 1919, including the Wichita based Swallow Company, Travel Air, Inc., and Cessna Aircraft Company. In addition, the article points to a bright future for Kansas-based aviation companies.


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