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Walter Beech

Walter Beech was born January 30, 1891, in Pulaski, Tennessee.
He first flew July 11, 1914, in a Curtiss brand pusher airplane.
In 1917 he enlisted in the Army and served three years in the air branch of the signal corps.
In 1920 he came to Arkansas City, where he spent three years. He worked as an aircraft salesman and an aircraft repairman as well as a barnstorm­er. As a barnstormer based in Arkansas City, he performed all over the nation.
In 1923, after the hanger at the north field burned down, he went to work for Mattie Laird in Wichita. Laird Aircraft built the Swallow aircraft.
In 1924 Walter Beech left Swallow Aircraft and formed his own company building the Travelaire Airplane.
In 1929, Travelaire merged and was absorbed into the Curtis-Wright aircraft company.  The Wichita plant continued to operate and Walter Beech continued to work for them.
In 1931, Curtis-Wright closed the Wichita plant and Walter Beech left their employment.
In April of 1932, Walter Beech created Beechcraft Aircraft.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum