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Lloyd Stearman

Lloyd Stearman
Creator: Boeing Aircraft Company
Date: Between 1958 and 1960
Lloyd Stearman was born on 0ctober 26, 1898 in Wellsville, Kansas. He attended Kansas State University until the beginning of World War I when he left school to join the U. S. Naval Reserve. It was during his service in the Naval Reserve that he learned to fly Curtiss N-9 seaplane. After the war he was hired as a mechanic by E. M. Laird Airplane Co., later the Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co. In 1925, Stearman joined Walter Beech and Clyde Cessna to form the Travel Air Manufacturing Company. Stearman left in 1926 and went to Venice, California, where he established the Stearman Aircraft Corporation. A year later he returned to Kansas and set up his factory in Wichita. An aircraft holding company that included Boeing acquired Stearman's corporation in 1929, but the company continued to operate under the Stearman name for many years. Eventually it became the Wichita Division of The Boeing Company. Although Stearman left the company in 1931, Boeing engineers continued to use his drawings. In 1931 Stearman and partners acquired the then bankrupt Lockheed Aircraft Company in Santa Barbara, California, becoming president of the company and designing aircraft. He left Lockheed in in 1935 to work for the federal government and other companies, including the Stearman-Hammond Corporation, which he formed in 1936. He returned to Lockheed in 1955 as a senior engineer and retired in 1968. In retirement he formed a new Stearman Aircraft Corporation and worked designing new planes until ill health prevented him from working. He died in Northridge, California, on April 3, 1975.

Stearman C-3B

Stearman C-3B
Creator: Boeing Airplane Company
Date: Possibly 1927
This photograph shows the Stearman C-3B, the first model of Stearman airplane produced in Wichita after the company moved to Kansas from Venice, California. The C-3B was designed for both mail and passenger service. In addition, it was the type of plane Charles Lindbergh used to survey air routes for Transcontinental and Western Airways.

Travel Air Company new plant and plane

Travel Air Company new plant and plane
Date: 1927
This article from The Wichita magazine covers the construction of a new airplane and a new airplane factory by the Travel Air company of Wichita. Travel Air was formed in 1924 by Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, and Clyde Cessna. Despite great success during the 1920s the company eventually closed its doors during the Great Depression due to dwindling aircraft orders.

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's golden air age began 50 years ago in Swallow biplane

Wichita's golden air age began 50 years ago in Swallow biplane
Creator: Wichita Eagle
Date: May 1, 1970
This article published in the Wichita Eagle covers the history of the Swallow Aircraft Manufacturing Company and its founder, Emil Matthew Laird. The article also details Laird's first flight in a Swallow biplane, the contributions of Swallow employees Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman, and the overall contributions of Wichita to the American aviation industry.

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.

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