(LUK) by Larry Stulz
CAHS Chairman Elect 2014
the early 1920s, barnstorming pilots made their way across the country
to earn a living. One such pilot was Dixie Davis who started a
flying business at the corner of Wilmer and
December 1925, the Grisard Company dissolved and the Lunken family
provided financial backing to purchase 204 additional acres of land,
which was owned by the Cincinnati Polo Club. This airfield then
became known as
the Embry Riddle Company organized at Lunken and provided airline, air
mail service and flight raining and became the first government approved
flight school in the
brick aircraft hangars were built along the south side of the airfield
in art deco style. Also in 1929, metal monoplanes called the
Flamingo were built near the airfield. Of 20 built, none survive
today. The Aeronca aircraft company also built aircraft on the
field until 1940 in Hangar #4. The beginnings of American
Airlines also started at Lunken in 1929 with air passenger flights to
In 1936, plans were made to begin construction on the Lunken airport terminal. The terminal, which still stands to this day, was only weeks away from final completion when the disastrous floods of January 1937 struck. Even though there was a protective dike and levee system around the airfield, it could not hold back the floodwaters of the "Great Flood of 1937." The flood water levels reached to the top of the control tower cab atop the terminal building. A single black brick on the tower facing the airfield marks the high water mark to this day.
airfield’s location in a flood plain was one geographical disadvantage
and heavy fog and surrounding hilltops were others. All these
factors put a damper on serious thought to expand Lunken airport into a
major airport. Some civic leaders looked to the Blue Ash airfield
location as the site of
the major airlines began to pull out of Lunken and started operations at
the "Greater Cincinnati Airport" located in
airport is presently an 1140-acre airfield for General and Corporate
Aviation, and attempts are made to bring in regional airlines and
increase size limits for larger aircraft to land at the airport.
Still, expensive homes are being built on the hills directly facing the
airport providing more and more property owners who litigate for tougher
noise restrictions and less flight activity at the airport.
Little Miami River to the East,
Other interesting facts about Lunken. The original course of the Little Miami River snaked through the middle of the present Lunken airfield. One can see traces of the old riverbed in aerial photos of the field. The Little Miami was rerouted to the East of the field and is separated from the airfield by a massive dike system.
bike trail is a paved roadway/sidewalk that completely encircles the
airfield for 5 miles used extensively by walkers/joggers and bicyclists.
The airfield literally sits atop the lands that were occupied by the
first settlers in this region in 1788. The small settlement