Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Society & Museum

Preserving aviation's past for future generations.

Stout Air Services

WILLIAM BUSHNELL STOUT 1880~1956 Was born in Illinois. He was an automotive designer and moved to Michigan 1914. He became interested in aviation during the First World War and by 1922 he produced America's first all-metal plane which was a Navy torpedo plane constructed of Duraluminum.

He also started the Stout Metal Airplane Company in 1922. Between 1922 and 1923 Stout built America’s first all-metal commercial airplanes which evolved into the eight-passenger Stout Air Pullman (the 2-AT) that was powered by a Liberty engine.

The Air Pullman was different than anything that had previously been flown. Its exterior was corrugated metal and the cockpit was designed for a pilot and co-pilot protected by a celluloid wind screen. Inside, wallpaper, padded seats, and a bathroom created luxurious comfort. When the 2-AT was used to haul cargo Stout called it the Air Truck.

The AT has stuck to the name of all derivatives of the airplane since. The company occupied the new airplane factory at the Ford Airport in 1924 and became a division of the Ford Motor Company in 1925. While he was the division's consulting engineer the Ford tri-motor was developed.

In 1926 he founded the Stout Air Services, this country's first regularly scheduled passenger airline. There is the connection with Cincinnati. In the photo below you will see a Ford Tri-Motor of Stout Air Services at Cincinnati Lunken Airport in 1932.

Stout Air Services at Cincinnati Lunken Airport in 1932 - Photo