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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Building the Vision: Flea airplane to be in Friday's parade

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I want to start this week by reminding you of the Building the Vision float that will be in the parade this Friday. Lucy Fletcher and I are working on the banner for the float, and are obviously depending on "a few good men" to get the Flea in position. Remember, the Flea is a plane built by Jake Van Dyke, based on a manual he obtained. The test flights were held here in Marshall at the air field which was located out by our current water tower. Jake actually flew in the flea ... not only difficult to say, but even more difficult to achieve, and the infancy of flight turned over another chapter. Marshall was a part of the excitement of those early years and we want to honor our place in history. Come see the flea. It's a cute little thing ... a piece of our past that reminds us of the VISION of our predecessors.

Now ... let me encourage you to check out our flying "ace" in the window of Building the Vision headquarters ... Barney Zimmerley. I believe the instrument by him has moved substantially ... about $200,000.00, to be more exact! We are grateful and encouraged, and we continue to appeal to all of you to support us with whatever you can fit into your budget. As mentioned in last week's column, ground will be broken SOON, and the project will be officially up and running. As I have mentioned several times before, our intent is to begin the use of the facility DEBT FREE. That way, you, the consumer will only be paying the minimum amount to use the Civic Center ... only what it will cost for day-to-day maintenance, not what is needed to pay off a huge debt. If you haven't done so already, come by headquarters to pick up a brochure that shows you how you can make a pledge and take advantage of the 501(c)3 status and the NAP credits. You may also want to call Headquarters (660-886-2630) to visit with someone who can explain these things to you.

We are trying to reach everyone in Marshall and the surrounding area and cannot thank our media outlets (The Marshall Democrat-News and KMMO radio) enough for their enthusiastic support.

O.K. ... now for some more interesting information about Marshall's aviation history:

(Sept. 30, 1926 edition of The Marshall Democrat-News)

"May Locate an Airplane School Here in Marshall

"Harry Wimer, Aeronautical Expert, is Here Looking

"Over the Situation and Conditions

"Marshall may be the location of a school to train and graduate airplane pilots. Harry Wimer is here now looking over the situation with a view to establishing the school if he finds conditions here to be suitable.

"Mr. Wimer until just recently was head of the Sweeney airplane school at Kansas City. He resigned to establish his own school.

"There are several reasons why I am considering Marshall as a location for my school," Mr. Wimer said. "In the first place, Marshall is a clean town morally. That is necessary for successful operation of a school graduating airplane pilots, for this thing of students running around all night and trying to drive an airplane next day won't do.

"In the second place, there are two airplane manufacturing plants here. The Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company and the Marshall Aircraft Company are getting into position for production. Many of my students as soon as graduated desire to buy a ship and with two companies here they can get ships as soon as they are qualified to fly them.

"In the third place, Marshall's geographical location and the topography of the surrounding territory make it suitable for instruction of pilots. A forced landing can be made without much hazard most any place around here. The highway system coming into Marshall is a consideration, too, for many of the students have their own motor cars.

"There are no large bodies of water, no mountain ranges, and no topographical menaces for miles around this town."

"... Mr. Wimer appeared Tuesday evening before the transportation committee of the Chamber of Commerce and received unanimous support of his proposal to establish a school here.

Mr. Wimer, if the school comes, will use for the present the aviation field just east of Marshall. He said that Marshall, which has an airplane reputation all over the United States, needs a municipal flying field. Al Mooney of the Marshall Aircraft Company and Russell Nicholas of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company joined with the flying instructor in voicing this need.

Such a field needs to be level and well-drained. It should have four runways going in four directions with a length of two thousand feet. The runways should be set midway between the cardinal points of the compass."

Check this out ...

In the presentations about the Civic Center/Museum that we have been making to organizations in the area, we have said that it is our dream to have a portion of the museum designed to look like a flying-school classroom, to have all of the students in the area come to that classroom, and to receive information about flying in much the same way the flying school students of the '20s and '30s would have experienced. With that in mind, please read the following article:

(June 6, 1929 edition of The Marshall Democrat-News)

"Won Free Ride

"William dyer and Paul Jones Also Received

"Cash Prizes in Aircraft Contest

"William Dyer, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Dyer of near Marshall, and Paul Jones, son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Jones, 755 E. Eastwood, were given a free ride in a Barling NB-3 monoplane this morning as a result of their winning first and second prizes respectively in the recent model aircraft contest here. The contest was conducted in the manual training department of the high school and the planes could actually fly.

"William and Paul were taken up by H. A. Spear, sales manager for the Barling NB-3 for Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company. Mr. Spear reached an altitude of about two thousand feet and circled around over the city and adjacent territory. The youths received quite a kick out of the ride, which was their first. Both boys are 14 years old.

"The contest was sponsored by the local chapter of the National Aeronautical Association, which gave $3 as first and $2 as second prizes. The contest was for the purpose of furthering aeronautics in the minds of the youth of the country, or in other words, to make them "air-minded."

Building the Vision appears on Wednesday.

Building the Vision