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AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 1
ing. In the years after World War I, Americans
had become enamored of flight, of airplanes
primarily, and to a lesser degree of airports.
The aeronautics craze was fueled by many
things: Patriotic war movies, a glut of inex-
pensive military aircraft, military pilots with
plenty of time on their hands, the growth of
air racing as a viable pastime, barnstorm-
ing, stunt piloting, and even flying circuses
boosted aviation in the public's collective con-
sciousness. Air shows blossomed across the
country and air races dazzled an eager pub-
lic. The wonder of aviation was everywhere.
It didn't hurt that wealthy businessmen were
offering major-league prize money for any pi-
lot brave enough to fly across the Atlantic or
around the world.
In 1927 a twenty-five-year-old Charles
Lindbergh flew his airplane, the "Spirit of St.
Louis," in a solo non-stop flight from New
York to Paris. Then in 1932, Amelia Earhart
became the first woman to fly alone across
the Atlantic. Three years later the legendary
and newly minted 14-berth sleeper aircraft,
the Douglas DC-3, took its maiden flight on
December 17, 1935, 32 years to the day after
the Wright Brothers' historic launch at Kitty
Hawk, North Carolina. Both passenger air
traffic and general aviation was on the rise
and that meant a need for more airports big
and small.
In 1937 architects William Adams Delano
and Chester Holmes Aldrich designed the
New York Municipal Airport (later renamed
KVUE News clip of the new Austin Executive Airport.
Video courtesy of KVUE News.