NIAR - Aviation research, design, testing, certification history, timeline


Wichita has always been known for its entrepreneurial spirit. When the Laird Swallow (the first commercially-produced airplane in the United States), created by a team of Wichitans, took flight on April 8, 1920, the city’s entrepreneurial contribution to aviation manufacturing began. Many of the world’s most well-known planemakers have their roots in Wichita, including Walter H. Beech, who started Beech Aircraft in 1927; Clyde Cessna, who created Cessna Aircraft in 1927; and William Boeing, who came to own Stearman Aircraft in 1934. These aviation pioneers and their successors made Wichita the Air Capitol of the World and paved the way for aviation research at Wichita State University and NIAR.


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