Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Century Club: Paul Revere Braniff

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

The Century Club: Paul Revere Braniff

Article excerpt

Paul Revere Braniff always knew he was born to fly. He was one of the first to take flight in the state and become a pioneer in aviation, creating Oklahoma's first commercial airline, Braniff Airways, in 1928.

Braniff was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1897. Three years later, his parents moved to Oklahoma City.

Even as a young child, Braniff had a fascination with all facets of aviation. When he was older and able, he contributed financially to Wiley Post's first endeavors.

Braniff learned to fly planes during his service with the U.S. Army signal corps in World War I. He served in France and taught aircraft gunnery.

After returning home, he obtained his pilot's license in 1923 from Orville Wright and purchased his first airplane. He flew short passenger hops, barnstorming tours and piloted The Daily Oklahoman airplane.

In 1927, Braniff covered 800 miles with a perfect record in the National Transcontinental Race from New York to Los Angeles. That same year, he, his brother, Tom, and four local businessmen purchased a plane for private use. It was the first cabin plane to appear in the state.

The six investors became the Oklahoma Aero Club.

Ownership of the aircraft led to the creation of the state's first airline, which started as Paul R. Braniff Inc., and operated with flights between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. …

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