Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Walter Beech

  • Formed the Travel Air Manufacturing Company in 1924 where it’s biplane won the Ford Reliability Tour in 1925 and 1926 .
  • He and navigator Brice Goldsborough demonstrated the practicability of “blind flight” in their instrumented Beech Travel Air “Special” biplane during the 1926 Ford Reliability Tour.
  • In 1927 the Beech cabin planes made the first commercial flight from California to Hawaii and won the Dole Air Derby.
  • Served as Vice President of Travel Air when it merged with the Curtiss-Wright corporation until it’s shutdown as a result of the Great Depression.
  • Formed the Beech Aircraft Company with his wife, Olive, in 1932. The company created three versions of the Model 17 Staggerwing which were flown by pilots such as Bill Ong, Louise Thaden, and Jackie Cochran setting speed and altitude records.
  • During World War II the company built 7,400 planes for the war effort and created many aircraft to address issues created by the war such as the aluminum shortage, .
  • Beech introduced the unique V-tail Bonanza which was an immediate success as an executive and family aircraft in 1946.

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