Howard and Sandy Showalter, and Buck Rogers started Showalter Airpark, the first private airport in Winter Park, in 1945.
Listen as 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.
LISTEN Part I (18:42)
Sandy Showalter surveys the future home of Showalter Airpark, November 1945.
Buck Rogers on the tractor working to prepare the property for the future Showalter Airpark, 1945.
Howard Showalter supervises construction at Showalter Airpark, circa 1945.
The newly constructed hangar at Showalter Airpark, circa 1945.
The business made aviation history and is cited in a number of aviation books.
For instance, in Aviation in Florida they mention: “Also in Winter Park was the Showalter Airpark, established by Howard and Sandy Showalter and Buck Rogers in 1945… The airpark became the base for the Showalter Flying Service, recognized as one of the nation’s best fixed-base operators (FBOs)….” Wings in the Sun: A History of Florida Aviation states, “The Showalter Airpark owned and operated by the Showalter brothers at Winter Park is one of the finest privately owned airports in the United States.”
Air show at Showalter Airpark, circa 1950.
Showalter Flying Service opened a new flight school and flying service at Orlando Municipal Airport in October 1947.
Orlando: a centennial history notes: “Orlando’s position as the air center of Florida was spurred early in January of 1948 with the announcement that the Showalter Corporation had purchased the Raymond Aviation Company at the municipal airport.”
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.
Sandy Showalter, Buck Rogers, and Howard Showalter on the plane at Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Municipal Airport, circa 1958.
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.
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