FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green, OH: The first runway was 60 feet long and made of 2x4s laid in the sand. Orville and Wilbur Wright used this primitive surface to launch the Flyer 100 years ago today at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville piloted the plane and kept it aloft for 12 seconds. He and his brother managed powered flight and it changed the world.
The importance of that first flight is celebrated and captured in a full size rendition of the Wright Flyer at the airport’s new Aviation Park, which will be dedicated at 10:35 a.m. today, the exact time of the first lift-off. The park commemorates the pioneers of flight in our community and acknowledges the many contributions of airport leaders who have tirelessly volunteered their time and expertise for the past six decades. Akron-Canton Airport Board President, Cathy Godshall says, “This is a day to celebrate what brings us together as an aviation community. Our love of the airport and of flight itself is worthy of this impressive memorial. Our sincere thanks go out to those that paved the way for our airport to become a powerful part of the air transportation network in Northeast Ohio.”
The Akron-Canton Airport Aviation Park was planned by a group of aviation enthusiast who envisioned a permanent monument to flight that would also serve as an educational tool for people of all ages. “We are grateful to Aviation Days Incorporated, headed by Don Armen, (President, McKinley Air), for conceiving and delivering such a magnificent gift to the airport,” said airport director Fred Krum. The park also features granite walls of honor listing major aviation contributors in the Akron-Canton area including, past and present board members, private pilots, airport directors and other important supporters. “Powered flight is an essential part of the American way of life. You can’t help but be awe inspired by the contrast of this first Flyer and the state-of-the-art aircraft that take-off from CAK today,” Krum added.
Once inside the main entrance of the airport, Aviation Park is located North of the main road leading to the terminal. Park visits will be available during normal airport operating hours 4:30 a.m. to Midnight seven days a week. Two 30-minute, complimentary parking spots are available adjacent to the park.
Page 2 of 3
Akron-Canton Airport Aviation Park
The Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) was dedicated in 1946. American and United Airlines commenced the airport’s first scheduled flights on July 1, 1948. Capital and Eastern added service on August 14, 1948, offering a combined 35 daily flights. 92,000 passengers used CAK that first year. General, military and corporate aviation interests also flourished.
Today, CAK is the third fastest growing airport in the country with a 55% increase in passengers expected over the next five years, according to a recent forecast published by the Boyd Group of Evergreen, Colorado. More than 1.1 million passengers will use CAK in 2003 accounting for a 30 percent increase compared to 2002.
AirTran Airways, Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink, United Express, and US Airways Express serve the growing Akron-Canton market. The airport is currently in the third phase of the $60 million, five-year STAR expansion project, which will focus on the building of a new $24 million gate concourse and a new Shuffel Road interchange. The first two phases included longer runways, a new baggage claim wing, additional car parking and a food court with national brands. Additional airport information is available at www.akroncantonairport.com. Akron-Canton Airport, a better way to go.
Page 3 of 3
Akron-Canton Airport Aviation Park
List of supporters and board members who’s names will appear on the Aviation Park “Wall of Honor”:
LOCAL AVIATION SUPPORTERS
Harold H. Burton Morgan Cook Joe Keefer
Frederic S. Wilkins Frank P. Lahm Don Hostetler
Henry H. Timken Jr. Clyde Gainey Frank Laston
H.H. Howell Terry Ewing Sr. Richard J. Kempthorn
Paul Belden Sr. Tommy Clemet Jean Hixson
T.K. Harris Robert Burdett Ronald E. Armitage
William Humphreys Ray Northern Phillip Gizzi
Karlton Stuhldreher Frank Corbi Robert Luntz
B.E. “Shorty” Fulton Louise Timken Don J. Armen
Roy Poorman Jim Brooks Frederick J. Krum
Earl Kail Ruby Mensching Ralph Regula
Kenneth A. Little George Dippel Judith Resnick
Russ Miller Bernetta A. Miller Richard Hartzell
Lee Sherrick V.A. “Bud” Whitaker Glenn Cross
Ray VanDevere Jack Yarger
Ernest Stadvic Kenneth C. Rickard
Harry Renkert LaVerne J. Riesbeck
Rudy VanDevere F. Stuart Wilkins
Russ Yoder Ozzie Riesbeck
C.J. Rodman George Swayze
H.S. Renkert Jr. Bill G. Bathori
William H. Martin Donald L. Grissom
Frank Lahm Bill F. Verble
Thomas Arconti LaVerne J. Riesbeck
C.L. Bower John B. Root
Boyd Bridgwater Stephen Root
Robert Carpenter Robert Shuff
Theodore Chuparkoff Al Spalding
Michael J. Connor Karlton Stuhldreher
Gillum H. Doolittle Lon L. Tighe
John H. Fellows Mrs. H.H. (Louise) Timken Jr.
D. Morgan Firestone Henry H. Timken Jr.
John F. Floberg Ward J. Timken
Sal Germano Ralph Van Bremmer
Richard G. Gilbert David E. Waddell
Cathy C. Godshall Lucinda Weiss
Robert C. Graham F. Stuart Wilkins
Frank Hoiles Frederic S. Wilkins
Beth Houseman John Zimmerman
Wm. A. Humphreys Jr.
Oscar N. Mansager
C. Blake McDowell Sr.
Kenneth C. Rickard