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Columbus entered the air age early: the city was the destination for the world’s first air-cargo flight in 1910, the home of the world’s youngest licensed pilot in 1911, and the home of World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker. The aviation history of Columbus continued with the opening of Norton Field in 1923, Columbus Airport (later Sullivant Avenue Airport) in 1928, Port Columbus in 1929, and Lockbourne Army Air Base (now Rickenbacker International Airport) in 1942. Port Columbus International Airport had the distinction of being built near a railroad track for a coast-to-coast air-rail service. The air-rail service did not last, but Port Columbus has survived and is an important part of central Ohio. Add to this the fact that a major aircraft factory was located in Columbus from 1941 to 1979, and the aviation history of Columbus is rich.
About the Author
Richard E. Barrett has been collecting Columbus-area images and memorabilia and studying the history of the Columbus area for 40 years. He served on committees for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Franklin County, the 75th anniversary of Port Columbus, and the Columbus bicentennial. Richard is a member of both the Columbus and the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Societies.
Table of Contents
1 Early Ballooning 9
2 Cromwell Dixon 15
3 Special Aviation Events and Air Shows 25
4 Eddie Rickenbacker 41
5 Norton Field 49
6 Transcontinental Air Transport and the Birth of Port Columbus 61
7 Further Development of Port Columbus 77
8 Building Aircraft in Columbus 97
9 Lockbourne Army Air Base and Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base 107
10 Other Local Airfields 119
Columbus Historical Society 127