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Reader Stories

After publishing our book, many people came forward with stories of their own. This platform serves to preserve them. Note, that while we meticulously researched our book, we do not fact-check or validate this content. Please accept these personal remembrances in the generous spirit in which they are given.

Air Notes from the Air Capital

Submitted by Dave Franson

In Wichita, Kansas, we tend to take exception to being called “Fly Over Country.” Unfortunately, the entire middle of the country is often considered just the space between destinations. Contrails crisscross the skies above the Great Plains every day. It has even been said that “Wichita” is an Indian word that means “hard to get […]

A Global Leader, but A Local Company

Submitted by Deanna Harms

One of the best things about history is its ongoing nature. It’s always being written. One of my fondest Air Capital memories is helping Airbus Americas celebrate its 10-year anniversary in the Air Capital. In 2012, state and local dignitaries joined 350 Airbus employees on the plaza in front of its historic Old Town headquarters. […]

An Engineer’s Perspective

Submitted by Jim Hollingsworth

It was a great day for aviation, when Cessna Management made the decision to build the Cessna Citation. One of the main design decisions was to attempt to certify the airplane with single pilot capabilities to reduce operational cost. This had never been done for Business Jets before.   It was my privilege to have […]

Working With Bill Lear Was Never Boring

Submitted by Al Higdon

Bill Lear was always in a hurry. In late 1964 he jumped into the left seat of one of the first Learjet 23s, fired it up and began taxiing, unfortunately with a still-plugged-in external power unit being yanked behind the airplane, as line crews raced after.. Needless to say, the EPU connection was soon redesigned […]