Skip Navigation

 

Sundays
10/9 am
on KET

Saturdays
5:30/4:30 pm
on KET2

Louisville Flight Anniversaries

ETC Et Cetera lifts off this week with a pair of River City aviation anniversaries.

The first is the centennial of the first airplane flight in Louisville: in 1910 a pair of biplanes took to the air from Churchill Downs.

The Courier-Journal reported at least 10,000 spectators watched the feat, filling the clubhouse, grandstand and rooftops for miles around.

A decade later in 1920, Louisville’s first airport was established at Bowman Field, on Taylorsville Road. 2010 marks the 90th anniversary.

ETC Founded by Abram Bowman and Robert Gast, the field was built on land leased from the United States government after Uncle Sam seized it from a German descendant of the Breckenridge family during World War I.

Bowman Field is Kentucky’s first airport and one of North America’s oldest continually-operating airfields. You can learn more about its history in the lobby of Bowman Field’s terminal, one of three buildings on site which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The art deco style structure also houses the popular Le Relais restaurant.

ETC Aviation’s biggest star, Charles Lindbergh, landed his "Spirit of St. Louis" at Bowman Field in 1927.

Bowman proved to have special value to the city of Louisville following the 1937 flood and later during World War II, when it became a training field and one of the busiest airports in America.

For even more high-flying facts about Louisville aviation, check out this Season Three Et Cetera.

Program 505
"Louisville Life" visits a Thoroughbred retirement center, examines the history and remodeling of historic Locust Grove and more. (#505)