Airport History

The Akron Fulton Airport was dedicated in 1929 and has a long and storied history. Bain "Shorty" Fulton founded the airport, a pilot in World War II. In 1924, "Shorty" Fulton purchased a farm on Massillon Road in Akron. This land was less than three miles from his place of employment, Goodyear Tire and Rubber. He cleared the land of it's fields and orchards so he could design and build an airplane. Then he opened a flight school. His plan was to teach people to fly, offer airplane rides and fly at county fairs. At this time the United States Post Office took over the airmail service from the Army Air Service. The Post Office was instructed to contract the airmail routes to private carriers. The city of Akron was looking for Shorty Fulton's airfield to be chosen as a regional airmail center. Fulton Field was favored as the future Akron municipal air field for several reasons. The weather was more reasonable than the Cleveland site, Fulton Field had adjacent land for the future construction site of the Goodyear-Zeppelin air Dock. The United States Post Office awarded the City of Akron the regional airmail center franchise in 1925. In 1928 the navy signed a contract with Goodyear to build two Zepplin airships.

In 1943 Goodyear Tire and Rubber secured a contract to manufacture the Chance-Vought FG-1 Corsair, a single-engine fighter plane synonymous with the term “warbird.” By 1943, the planes were rolling off the assembly lines and into the skies. Goodyear Aerospace built the Corsair at its factory by the Akron Fulton Airport. During the height of production, it wasn’t unusual to see Corsairs flying above Akron in stiff formation. (Shorty Fulton, Akron Fulton Airport Story)

With its aggressive shape and ferocious speed, the Corsair was a vital component to Allied air superiority in the South Seas. The Japanese called the Corsair the “whistling death” because of its characteristic screaming dive. It’s a frightening sound. A perennial favorite at air shows and flight museums throughout the country, the FG-1 Corsair testifies to Akron’s contribution to national aviation history. Though the Corsair was manufactured at a number of locations across the country, many aviation enthusiasts consider Akron its birthplace. (Akron Life Magazine)

Home to the original Goodyear Airdock where the first lighter than airships were built, the airport also is home to the All American Soap Box Derby, and is within five miles of the world renown Firestone Country Club and within four miles of the City of Akron's central business district.


Vintage Structure: Art Deco Terminal Building

Goodyear Air Dock Construction and History

Goodyear Air Dock, Akron

Akron's Own Warbird, Akron Life Magazine

Goodyear Corsair, The Museum of Flight

F4U-4 Corsair