Central Air Lines was a small regional airline that operated for only a few years across the runway from the Travel Air factory on East Central Avenue. The fleet of airplanes included a Type A6000 that is shown parked in front of the main hangar as passengers prepare to board the monoplane. A large sedan, possibly a Packard, was used to pick up passengers and deliver them to the airport.
Central Air Lines was affiliated with the Travel Air Company but had to close its doors because of the severe economic downturn known as the Great Depression that began late in 1929. In 1930 Walter and Olive Ann Beech co-signed a loan for the Wadlow Brothers, Newman and Truman, who took over the airline hangar and operated a flight school and air taxi/charter business known as “Central Air College” for a short time until they suffered the same fate as their predecessor, Central Air Lines.
Today, the Beechcraft headquarters building and customer delivery hangar sits approximately on the same ground as the old hangar that served the Wadlow brothers. According to local history, sometime during the 1930s the hangar was dismantled and moved to a new location in Wichita where it was reported to have served as a skating rink.
As for the Wadlow brothers, they both enjoyed careers in aviation but had Walter Beech to thank for the opportunity to become pilots. In 1925 he took the boys under his wing and traded flying lessons for work in the Travel Air factory each week after they left high school. Neither brother ever forgot his generosity and guidance.