Dixie Field

From Bhamwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Dixie Field or Dixie Flying Field was Birmingham's first airfield, founded in 1919 by former Adjutant General of Alabama and Dixie Flying Club founder Virgil Evans, with help from the City of Birmingham. Evans' Dixie Flying Corporation was based there. Glenn Messer was placed in charge of running the airfield, and also operated his own flying school there.

The 1,200 foot wide by 2,000 foot long north-south airfield was located on Avenue F, just east of Elmwood Cemetery at the present location of Loveman Village. Plans for the facility included a four-way landing field, a pilot school, a mechanic school, and a sales and service department. The possibility of using Dixie Field as an air mail station was also studied.

In 1920 Eddie Stinson purchased the field and announced his plans to make it the Southern headquarters of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. He ordered $20,000 of equipment, including three Curtiss aircraft, for his own flying school. S. B. Irwin and R. C. McMurray were hired as instructors. The property was briefly known as Stinson Field.

Dixie Field was replaced by Roberts Field as Birmingham's primary airfield in 1922. The field ceased to operate in 1925 and Messer moved his flight school the the newly-built Messer Field.

References

  • "Stinson Takes Over Flying Field" (December 13, 1920) Aerial Age Weekly
  • "Aviation Activities in the South" (June 6, 1921) Aviation
  • Dodd, Don (January 2004) "Birmingham Aviation: From Fairgrounds Air Shows to the Southern Museum of Flight." Alabama Review.
  • Faulk, Kent (December 14, 2003) "Alabama's role in aviation long, historic." The Birmingham News