Chicago: Aviation's Incubator

How Chicago Shaped America's Aviation Industry


 Although controlled flight didn’t originate here, Chicago, more than any other location, nurtured the fledgling flyers into a full-blown industry that permeated the country. In "Chicago: Aviation’s Incubator," Michael Haupt explores the long-overlooked role Chicago played in developing the national aviation industry.

Even prior to the Wrights’ flight, Chicago played a pivotal role disseminating technical information about flight to the Wright brothers and others. Shortly after, Chicago published some of the first technical books and periodicals on aviation.

Witness Chicago's role in the spread of aviation, through exhibitions and air shows, both in Chicago and around the country. Learn the critical nature that Chicago’s airports played as an aviation hub even prior to WW1. See Chicago’s role in Naval aviation from its inception prior to WW1 when Capt. (later Adm.) Moffett started flight and mechanics training at Great Lakes. Later, Glenview NAS became the Navy’s aviation training center including practice on aircraft carriers in Lake Michigan. Also see Chicagoans who played key roles in aviation manufacturing, establishing safety regulations, creating the airline industry as we know it.

The presenter, Michael Haupt, has spent decades exploring the extent of aviation activity in and around Chicago, especially in the early part of the 20th Century. His book, Aviation Chicago Timeline, is a product of his insatiable curiosity and research coupled with a fastidious attention to detail. The result is a well-written, fascinating history revealing many events which have been otherwise forgotten. Many regard it as the definitive history of aviation activities in Chicago and the surrounding region.