A recreation of a 1928 air tour through Kansas is in the works.
The All Kansas Air Tour is slated for the first week of April 2008. “That first week in April happens to be really good flying weather in the state of Kansas,” says Ed Young, director of aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation
Back in 1928, then-governor Ben Paulen was a major supporter of the air tour, telling reporters that he knew of nothing in the United States that could approach the scope of the seven-day event, which featured 25 planes flying to 21 destinations around the Sunflower State. The event made Kansas a focal point of aviation, according to Paulen.
Today Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace/Learjet, Cessna Aircraft Co., Mid-Western Aircraft and Raytheon Aircraft Co. are among the many aviation firms with Kansas facilities.
“This project seems to have a contagious excitement about it,” Young says, noting that just days after the Kansas Department of Aviation sent out an email advertising the air tour, it began to get inquires from around the state.
“We’ve had at least 40 communities contact us asking that they be allowed to bid to be one of the stops,” he says. “We’ve had responses from universities. We’ve also had inquiries about sponsorships.”
The state will pick out the airports for the overnight stays first, then decide which airports will be used for breakfast and lunch stops. “Essentially we are planning 20 fly-ins that will take place in a six- or seven-day period, just like they did it in 1928,” he says.
While details are still being determined, Young notes that the route will follow the original route as close as possible. He anticipates the longest legs will be no more than 100 miles.
Young noted that a special website is being created for the air tour. Until it is up and running, visit KSDOT.org and click on the aviation link.