Greteman Group, a Kansas-based agency specializing in aviation marketing, has released “Wichita: Where Aviation Took Wing.”
“We’re publishing the history of the Air Capital — a daunting, but delightful project,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “Telling these stories has made us fall in love with our city and industry all over again.”
The new book is based on research and content the agency developed for a history display at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. The new aviation-themed terminal opened in 2015.
Officials with Greteman Group worked with Wichita manufacturers and suppliers to update the content for the book. Content was also given more breathing room. Photos that may have only run in a cropped version might now occupy a full spread. Anecdotes formerly grouped in a collage have a dedicated page, officials note.
“When you’re flying through the airport, you only have so much time to interact with the display,” says Greteman. “The book lets you hold these stories in your hand and be struck all over again by the sheer audaciousness of our becoming Air Capital of the World.”
The book takes readers from the early birds and barnstormers to the pioneers and entrepreneurs who established dozens of aircraft and associated factories in the 1920s. The story continues with the founding of Cessna, Beechcraft and Stearman (which became Boeing Wichita, then Spirit AeroSystems) and the massive build-up during World War II. Post-war growth got another boost when Bill Lear came to town and launched the business jet revolution with his Learjet.
Today Wichita remains at the center of global aviation design and manufacturing with Textron Aviation, Spirit AeroSystems, Bombardier Learjet, Airbus and many dozens of smaller aviation manufacturers, suppliers and support organizations.
The book is available online at WichitaAviationHistory.com. Price: $39.99.