|Cincinnati's Lunken Field to be Designated a National Historic Site
Original Site of the Embry-Riddle Company and Birthplace of American Airlines
September 11, 2013 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will officially designate Lunken Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, as a historic aerospace site on September 14, 2013, unveiling a historic marker at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony at the airport’s Sky Galley restaurant, 262 Wilmar Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lunken Field, now also known as Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport, opened in 1925 on ground purchased from the Cincinnati Polo Club. The nation’s largest municipal airport at the time, it attracted several aerospace enterprises, starting with early aviator J. Richard “Dixie” Davis, who established his barnstorming enterprise there in 1925. In 1928, several other firms established enterprises at the field – each making history.
The Lunken family, led by patriarch Eshelby Lunken, for whom the field is named, established the Aeronautical Corporation of America (Aeronca) at the site, and manufactured their C-2 Aeronca ultralight monoplane design. The C-2’s price of $1,495 is credited with helping jump-start the civil aviation industry in America.
Powel Crosley and Julius Fleischmann started the Metal Aircraft Corporation of Cincinnati at the site, which manufactured the G-2-W Flamingo, which achieved world fame when pilot Jimmy Angel crash-landed one in Venezuela, bringing Angel Falls, the world’s highest continuously flowing waterfall, to the world’s attention.
In addition, the Embry-Riddle Company established a hub of their business at Lunken Field, for passenger travel and mail services. The Embry-Riddle Company location also became the U.S. government’s first approved flight school. Embry-Riddle went on to form American Airways, which became American Airlines.
The field still serves the city of Cincinnati as a general aviation airport.
AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation and dissemination of information about significant accomplishments made by the aerospace profession. Among the other sites recognized by the AIAA History Technical Committee are Pitcairn Field #2, Willow Grove, Penn.; Bell Aircraft’s Wheatfield, N.Y. plant; Pearson Field, Vancouver, Wash.; Bremen Airport, Bremen, Germany; Getafe Airfield, Getafe, Spain; the site of T.S.C. Lowe’s first balloon reconnaissance demonstration on the National Mall; the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory/CALSPAN Facility; the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Yacht Basin; the Honeysuckle Creek, Tidbinbilla, and Orroral Valley Tracking Stations in Australia; NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; and Tranquility Base on the moon. For more information about AIAA’s Historic Aerospace Sites Program, contact Emily Springer at 703.264.7533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.