Above: Buck Rogers, Arlyne Wilson, Sandy and Howard Showalter, and Bob Schutz hanging out at Showalter Airpark, circa 1950.
Showalter Flying Service owners Bob and Kim Showalter share the history of the aviation company and our community in this excerpt from an oral history interview at Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Executive Airport on January 14, 2015.
Howard and Sandy Showalter, and Buck Rogers started Showalter Airpark, the first private airport in Winter Park, in 1945.
Howard Showalter introduced the new Sky-Cab service in April 1947.
“A new flight service was introduced to Orlando this week by Showalter Corporation…. April 8, 1947, Winter Park Herald. Howard Showalter, Jr., President of the corporation which operates Showalter Airpark and Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Municipal Airport announced this service saying: “With Sky-Cab we have brought air charter service within the reach of all air travelers. We are certain that it will be well received and that our non-scheduled airline will be of great assistance to Orlandoans who must make frequent business trips to such cities as Tallahassee and Gainesville. Our planes can carry these people where they want to go, when they want to go, and wait while they transact business before returning.”
Showalter Flying Service opened a new flight school and flying service at Orlando Municipal Airport in October 1947.
ABOVE: Showalter Aero School, an operation of Showalter Corporation, opened for flight instruction at Sanford Municipal Airport in October 1948. Showalter said, “Particular emphasis is being placed on advanced courses all available under the GI Bill of Rights.”
ABOVE: Air show at Showalter Airpark, circa 1950. Howard Showalter, Jr., president of Showalter Flight Schools, set up an all student Air Show at Showalter Airpark to give the students a chance to prove themselves and their work. “Residents of Orlando and the vicinity will have an opportunity to judge for themselves the value of the training that veterans have been receiving under the GI Bill of Rights” Showalter said.
Above: Lyman Huntington is the first to solo in the Experimental Cross Country Private Pilot Course offered at Showalter Airpark, January 15, 1951. Howard W. Showalter, Jr., President of Showalter Corporation, personally instructed the first Experimental X-C Course, students – Don Johnson, Acting editor of the Winter Park Herald, James Haywood, Sigma Nu at Rollins College, and Lyman P. Huntington, Professional Photographer.
ABOVE: Showalter Corporation Gets Lease at Orlando Municipal Airport, 1951. In May 1951, Showalter Corporation signed a lease with the City of Orlando and agreed to move flying activities from Showalter Airpark in Winter Park to Orlando Municipal Airport.
“In its agreement with the city, the Showalter Corp. said it would pay $150.00 a month for the hangar building, two cents on every gallon of gasoline pumped with the exception of that used in planes of the corporation, base it’s fleet now totaling 15 aircraft at the airport and provide 24 hour gasoline and attendant service.”
Above: October 11, 1951 letter to O. L. Sands, Director of Aviation at the Orlando Municipal Airport, from Howard Showalter, Jr. , President of Showalter Corporation regarding the services offered at the airport by Showalter Flying Services.
Excerpt: A mechanic is on the field from 6 AM to 3 PM. Mechanics from our Winter Park operation can be at Municipal in a few minutes time. We are equipped to handle major and minor repairs. Gasoline service is available around the clock…
ABOVE: Showalter Flying Service circa 1968.
Showalter Airpark made aviation history as “one of the finest privately owned airports in the United States” according to Wings in the Sun: the Annals of Aviation in Florida.
Showalter Flying Service, the FBO family business of 70 years has brought much to the development of Central Florida with their business and community contributions.
Showalter Flying Service brought nine National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) shows here to Orlando.
In 2013, Showalter Flying Service received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Aviation Fuels from Phillips 66.
A History of The Showalter Flying Corp. and Showalter Flying Service Inc. 1945-1975 compiled by Ford B. Rogers, Jr. President.
Part I The Showalter Motorette Company, Aerial photos and plans for Showalter Airpark in Winter Park, letters.
Part II Showalter Airpark, aerial photos and news articles.
Part III Showalter Airpark Air Show photos, news articles and opening of Showalter Flying Service.
Part IV Showalter Flying Service business clients, aerial photos, and Margaret Bourke-White.
Part V 1960’s Aerial photos, articles, and celebrity photos.
Part VI Airplane photos, employee photos, 1965 – 20 Year Anniversary of Showalter Flying Service.
Part VII 25 Year Anniversary of Showalter Flying Service, brochures, 1960’s articles, staff photos.
Part VIII Aerial photos 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, employee photos, and expansion.
Part IX Aerial photos, employee photos, and Showalter news articles.
Part X Aerial photos, airplane photos, and celebrity photos.
Part XI Showalter Flying Service Christmas Party, AOPA and aviation news.
Part XII 40th Anniversary of Showalter Flying Service, 1989 Christmas Party, Fly-In Breakfast photos.
Part XIII Aviation news and articles, 1990 Christmas Party.
Part XIV Kumquat Parade November 1990, news, and WWII B-17 Bomber.
Please explore additional images under Attachments, below.