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Enter the flying machines.

In the 1920's, the wonderful invention of the Wright brothers became another transportation option for Springfieldians as they discovered the airplane. First flights in the early 1920's were made from a private airfield on Dollison Avenue south of Phelps Grove Park.

McClure Airfield was established to the east of town. In 1928, it was taken over by the city and it served personal planes, airlines, small commuters and mail planes. Now the Downtown Airport, it serves almost half of the noncommercial air traffic of the city.

In 1942, voters approved bonds to build a new modern airport to the northwest of the city. Commercial air service started in the 1940's with TWA Airlines. Service since has been provided, at various times, by Chicago and Southern, Eastern, American, Central, Delta and Ozark Airlines.

It was here, starting in 1946 with intrastate runs with Beechcraft planes, that Ozark . . . headquartered in St. Louis and flying across the country got its start.

A new modern terminal, built in 1963, now serves as Springfield's front door.

An early plane at McClure Field which later became the Municipal Airport and finally the Downtown Airport.
World famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife made a brief stop in the city in the late 1920's.
A Municipal Airport (at left) was built in 1942. It was improved with addition of a modern new terminal in 1963 and further expanded in 1979.
A significant milestone in the service of Ozark Airlines to Springfield was introduction of prop-jet service in 1960 with many local dignitaries taking the first ride.
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