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.



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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  Akron-Canton Airport, a better way to go.





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Akron-Canton Airport Aviation Park


List of supporters and board members who’s names will appear on the Aviation Park “Wall of Honor”:



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.

Richard Kempthorn

Oscar N. Mansager

C. Blake McDowell Sr.

Murray S.Parker

Jane Quine

Arthur F.Ranney

Kenneth C. Rickard