Something special happened at the National Center for Aviation Training last night. Even more than the premiere of The Aviators Season 2. Our community took a big step toward reclaiming its rightful place in the aviation pantheon.

The Wichita Aero Club and other aviation enthusiasts came together for an unveiling of the new Wichita Air Capital of the World logo and campaign. They roll out to the full community in The Wichita Eagle this Sunday – along with a feature on our aviation heritage.

Reclaim the Name

The time is right to reclaim and proclaim our standing as the Air Capital of the World. Kansas just celebrated 100 years of flight. Aviation is rebounding from its worst-ever recession. And Wichita needs to capitalize on this growth.

While working on the new airport terminal history display and serving on the Aero Club board, I started thinking about a big idea. A movement. One that engages our entire community and makes it proud of our aviation roots – and future. Greteman Group created a pro bono campaign that builds on one the chamber initiated more than 80 years ago. The club earmarked funds for an ad to launch the effort, and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition has stepped up with tremendous support, branding its upcoming NBAA booth with the new Air Capital identity and printing scout cards that will be handed out to show attendees. A Reclaim the Name scout card was also created for Wichita to drive people to the Aero Club’s website to learn how they can use the logo and promote the city.

We’ve Done It Before – And Can Do It Again

Wichita turned out a quarter of all U.S. aircraft in 1928. The city boasted 16 airplane manufacturers, six engine factories, 11 airports, a dozen flying schools and numerous suppliers. The Chamber of Commerce held a logo contest to help claim the title Air Capital of the World. The winner found its way onto everything from car grilles to flour sacks.

A Logo for the Next 100 Years

We designed the new logo to connect with the past while positioning us for the future. The updated mark remains true to the original – retaining the wings and the sunflower – but takes on a cleaner, more modern look. The stylized sunflower evokes a super-efficient turbofan jet engine. Just as a turbofan provides thrust, this logo should serve to propel our community forward. The new logo adds “of the World” to reinforce our global role. The classic wings have a straightforward, timeless Art Deco feel. They are more aviation-inspired, less bird-like than the original.

The simplicity of the logo makes it highly reproducible – a major goal as the mark serves as a gift to the community – encouraging businesses and individuals to use it as a means to Reclaim the Name: Air Capital of the World. The mark works well whether being embroidered on a shirt or supersized for a tradeshow booth.

It Takes a Village

Wichita has what it takes to fully lay claim to the Air Capital name. When people ask you for the proof in the pudding, here are a few talking points. We won’t make you practice them in the mirror. But what a great idea.

  • Expertise – Delivered more than half of all general aviation ever built.
  • Workforce – Highest concentration of skilled aviation labor.
  • Heritage – 100 years of aviation manufacturing.
  • Reputation – World’s best-known, most-diverse aviation cluster.
  • Leadership – No 1 U.S. manufacturing market per capita.
  • Skills – More than 8,000 skilled engineers.
  • Unique – Most business-aviation focused of the five major aviation clusters (others: Dallas, Montreal, Seattle, Toulouse).

Use It or Lose It

Wichita embraced its aviation identity in the late ’20s and reaped the rewards. Let’s do it again.

Click here to learn how you can download and start using our new Air Capital of the World identity. And help us reclaim the name.