SE corner of Admiral Place and Sheridan Road
— Tulsa's Historic Route 66 —
Duncan McIntyre: "Father of Tulsa Aviation" was a former Air Force
instructor and military barnstormer. In 1919, as he was on his way to
Spokane, Washington, he decided to stop in Tulsa to visit an old war buddy.
He ended up staying here until 1940 and made commercial aviation a
reality in Tulsa. McIntyre quickly realized that oil-booming Tulsa was ripe
for starting an aviation business. He and another pilot, Bert Brookins,
rented part of the Curtis Southwest Airplane Field and called it an airport.
He began offering sight-seeing tours over the city and round trips to
Houston, TX. He soon had enough money to purchase 80 acres at
Admiral Place and Sheridan Road. With 3 hangars, offering sales,
service, and repair, the McIntyre Airport was official.
Within a few short years the McIntyre airport was considered by many
early flyers to be one of the finest airports in Oklahoma. With its sod
runway and fields, this airport was chosen as the site for a military fly-In
in 1925. The Army and Navy brought approximately 35-40 aircraft to the
site, including the all-aluminum Hamilton fighter plane (U.S. Army) and the
Vought Naval aircraft.
On September 30, 1927 Tulsa aviation history was made when Charles
Lindbergh, fresh from his non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean,
landed The Spirit of St. Louis at the Mclntyre
Airport. Schools and
businesses closed for "Lindbergh Day" in Tulsa and thousands turned out
to cheer. Lindbergh spoke with Cyrus Avery and other business leaders
such as Warren Skelly and J. Paul Getty who quickly realized the need for
Tulsa to have a more formal airport. Business and civic leaders led a bond
effort and in 1928 the Tulsa Municipal Airport opened.
D.A. McIntyre moved to California in 1940 to take a job with
Lockheed. He returned to Tulsa once more in 1961, to dedicate the
new terminal that would be renamed Tulsa International Airport.