The History of Lane Aviation

Foster and WACO

Albert and Jenny Lane, small farmers, secured a loan for “farm machinery” from the Centerburg Bank, Centerburg, Ohio to purchase the Waco for their son.

July 27, 1928. Foster Lane, age 25, with his first airplane, C116, Waco 9.

Foster and Ruth Lane

C116 was located by Foster Lane in a Pennsylvania barn and restored by the Ohio History of Flight Museum.

The aircraft was donated by Ruth Lane to the Ohio Historical Society in 2000. It is currently on loan to the Waco Museum in Troy, Ohio.

Waco C116 with Lane Aviation founders Foster and Ruth Lane.

As aviation transitioned from barn storming to more practical uses, Foster and Ruth Lane found an opportunity at Port Columbus in Columbus, Ohio and opened the Port Columbus Flying School.

In 1935 it incorporated as Lane Aviation.

Foster and Ruth Lane

US Navy

Evicted by the U.S. Navy at the start of WWII, Lane Aviation operated from a tent at Sullivant Avenue Airport before moving to the under construction Don Scott Field.

Photo from August 1943 shows Navy WTS pilots and instructors. 1053 pilots received ground school training on the OSU campus and primary, secondary, cross country and aerobatics courses from Lane Aviation. Lane Aviation returned to Port Columbus at the end of WWII. The purchase of Navy fuel trucks enabled the company to expand airline services.

Lane Aviation operated from Hangar 1 East until moving to the present location.

The hangar, diagonal from the original terminal, has a venerable history. It was used to support trans-continental flights by TAT Airline. East or Westbound travelers crossed 5th Avenue from the railroad platform to the Terminal building and boarded daylight flights on their way to the coasts.

Foster and Ruth Lane

Airline Service

Many airlines have vanished or been resurrected in a new form, a few continue as legacies.

The total number of airlines served by Lane Aviation over the years is 116.

First Test Flight

First test flight of Culver Cadet NX 20946 flown by Foster Lane.

Chief Engineer, Al Moony collaborated with Columbus businessman Knight K. Culver to build an advanced design aircraft with retractable landing gear.

Air Taxi

In the early days, Lane Aviation charter flights were called “Air Taxi.”

The Fairchild pictured, a 24 C8 Argus, is a 1933 or 1934 model. Fairchilds, manufactured from 1932 through 1945, had a 145 hp Warner engine.

Air Taxi aircraft

Air Taxi aircraft shown on the ramp of Hangar 1 East reflect the diversity available to the pleasure and business aviation markets after WWII.

Lane Aviation was also active in aircraft sales, representing over the years Taylorcraft, North American, Culver, Ryan and Cessna. Today Lane Aviation sells aircraft world wide.

Air Taxi aircraft

“Air Taxi trip insurance 25¢ per $5,000.00, maximum limit $25,000.00. Same policy covers entire trip whether air taxi or airline, or both. Use direct phone for information.”

Early trip insurance is noted on the Cessna 195 photo.

Tower for the new Port Columbus terminal

March 1957. Tower for the new Port Columbus terminal is directly east of construction pads for Lane Aviation hangars 1 and 2 west.


Photo caption by Foster Lane reads “Which came first the chicken or the egg?”

Airforce One
Marine Corp One Osprey

Lane Aviation is privileged to service both military and Presidential aircraft.

* All photos provided by the Ohio Historical Society