6 08, 2014

Clyde Vernon Cessna

Inducted in 2001

General Aviation Pioneer

1879 – 1954

Born in Iowa and growing up on a Kansas farm, Clyde Cessna exhibited an aptitude for mechanics and became an expert in repairing farm machinery and early automobiles. Later, he took charge of an automobile sales and service agency in Enid, Oklahoma.

Impressed by the simplicity and performance of early monoplanes, Cessna built his own and taught himself to fly it in 1911. Steadily improving this plane, he used it in exhibition flights throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. After moving to Wichita, he built the Cessna-Jones Six and Comet monoplanes and used them in aerial exhibitions until World War I.

In 1925, Cessna helped form a travel air manufacturing company to build biplanes and became its president. In 1926, he developed an advanced monoplane. Two models, the City of Oakland and the Woolorac, set transpacific records in 1927. Leaving travel air, he developed a cantilevered-wing monoplane, formed […]