Flight – Part one: The Take Off

The Woods family set trends and realized success in a number of areas. This was often due to an ability to look ahead to the future. In 1925 Pace Woods Sr. and his father, Mark, first saw the Arrow airplane. They were instantly beguiled. The aviation industry was still young, and thoughts of flight set imaginations into motion.

According to Pace Woods, his father, “…envisioned airplanes as the wave of the future.” In 1926 the family acquired an airplane manufacturing facility in Havelock and became part of that future.

Another foresighted aviation enthusiast, Charles Lindbergh, learned to fly, wing-walk, and parachute from airplanes in Lincoln, Nebraska. The former airfield where he trained sat next to one of jewels of the Woods’ development–the current Country Club of Lincoln. The airfield is memorialized at 20th and High Streets with a bronze plaque set in stone that sits next to the stately east gates of another of the Woods Bros development gems, the Woodsshire neighborhood. In 1927 “Lindy” made a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris, and became the most celebrated person the world had ever known.

By 1929, the Woods’ Arrow Aircraft and Motor Corp. was the world’s leading producer of the Arrow Sport bi-wing. The 1920s really roared and the wildly successful facility employed between 500 and 700 people. Crews built four aircraft per day and at its peak, the company had orders for a total of over 250 airplanes, which cost $2,500 apiece.

The Arrow Sport can now be found in the Lincoln Airport.
The Arrow Sport can now be found in the Lincoln Airport.

Pace Woods was prodigious and had an unquenchable, entrepreneurial spirit. He got his real estate license at age 17, about a dozen years before embarking upon the Woods family’s future in aviation. Engaging in such diverse interests and opportunities made for a life rich in fact and in anecdote. More broadly applied, such varied pursuits not only keep life interesting, they keep others interested as well.

Next Week: Flight – Part two: The Bear in the Windy City. Woods clients in Chicago were in for a treat.

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