Cicero Flying Field

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Cicero Flying Field from aloft - early 1913

First Cicero Aviation Meet, Cicero Flying Field - 1912

Billboard (9' x 13') advertising the Cicero Aviation Meet held in conjunction with the
1912 Gordon Bennett Cup Race, which was held at nearby Clearing, Illinois

Aero Club of Illinois Pennant

The Aero Club of Illinois established its flying field in Cicero, Illinois, near Chicago. Cicero Flying Field (known universally as "Cicero Field") was a large flat turf-covered surface one-half mile on a side, and was the base for a number of well known aviators, as well as the location of the Lillie Aviation School, run by Max Lillie. Katherine Stinson was one of the many students who learned to aviate at the Lillie School on one of Max Lillie's Wright Model B-type biplanes. Cicero Field became a hub of aerial activity in the Chicago area and was, for its time, a very well-designed and well-equipped flying field. A quite large wind tunnel occupied one of the buildings and permitted the testing of airfoil sections. Many aeroplanes were built at the field and a number of small businesses were established nearby to provide material support for the activities at Cicero Field. Easy terrestrial access to the field for the weekly aviation meets was provided by an adjacent electric rail line, and a small "Lunch Room" at the field provided the requisite lunches, pie and coffee at a very reasonable fee. Among the many people associated with Cicero Field during its short and full life were Andrew Drew, Howard Gill, Charles "Pop" Dickinson, Micky McGuire, William Robinson, Chance Vought, Charles Day, "Pop" Keller, DeLloyd Thompson, Matty Laird, Fred Hoover, and, of course, Lincoln Beachey. It was at Cicero Field that the Beachey-Eaton Biplane made its first flight in May of 1914.


1914 Cicero Field Special Pass

Pioneer Aerial Mail at Cicero Flying Field, Max Lillie, aviator