High School Students Built Battle Creek’s First Airplane
The first locally built airplane, a glider, was built be Edgar (Pete) Goff Jr. and Elwood Junkins. The plane made a 200 yard “hop” at the tower near Spring Lake, now the location of the Kellogg Community College campus. Local interest in flight began when a Wright plane was brought here for an exhibition a year earlier. That event inspired Goff, Junkins and others, who were then high school students.
In 1914 these students built a plane in shop class. Junken, Goff, along with Rex Brown, DeWitt Parsons and Clayton Bruckner worked in the manual training building on Champion Street. They took the craft to the Young Farm on Prairie Avenue, now Territorial Road, and tried to fly it. It ultimately crashed. Junken and Bruckner went to Troy Ohio, received funding, and went on to become pioneers in aviation, manufacturing Waco planes.