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Winging It

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In 1919, the first plane landed in a flat pasture in Moline. Then, it was the Franing Farm. Today, it's known as the Quad City International Airport.

Local author Dave Coopman spent a year doing research. He wrote a book about the airport. The book chronicles airport history from its earliest days to the present.

Coopman looked at a treasure chest of old black and white photos along with newspaper articles. In 1919, Army planes going coast to coast landed at the field. The planes stayed there overnight because in those days pilots did not fly at night.

In 1926, the first airmail shipment out of Moline. Over the years, both Charles Linbergh and Amelia Earhart visited the airport.

There was a major breakthrough when the Works Progress Administration hired men to grade and level the field. The airport finally had runways. Prior to that, the field was flat farmland.

The Monocoupe airplane hangs from the airport ceiling. The Velie Company providing an engine for it.

During World War Two, twenty six hundred pilots received their initial training at the airport for the Army Air Corps.

Today, the Quad City International Airport is the third busiest in Illinois. Dave Coopman says writing the book was tremendous fun because he is very interested in aviation. Even as a kid, Dave would ride his bike out to the airport and watch the planes land and take off.  

 

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