McCook Field

QUESTION:  The location of McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio is now home to Kettering Park, named after local innovator Charles Kettering.  Which of the following is NOT something Charles Kettering developed?
A)  Internal Combustion Engines
B)  Leaded Gas
C)  Electric Automotive Starters
D)  Freon for Refrigeration

All week long, the blog has been dedicated to telling the story of four men - Al Johnson, Orville Wright, Luzern Custer and John Macready. Of the four, posterity has only really been kind to Mr. Wright, although the accomplishments of the other three men deserve at very least a nod of appreciation. Of course, there is one obvious connection between all four men:  they were together on September 24th, 1924, when the photograph was taken. Of course, questions arise as to where they actually stood when an anonymous photographer captured the moment we look at today.  Clearly, John Macready is talking to someone out of frame. We don't know who they were, nor do we know many things: what time of day was it, who took the picture, and what sort of camera did they use.  Was it an American Kodak Brownie?  A British-made Hewit-Beaufort? A German Kinar? Another question we might ask is where the photograph was taken - this one we do feel confident we can answer.  It is highly likely these men were all at the McCook Field Aviation Experimentation Station in Dayton, Ohio. The field was opened in 1917, the same year (not coincidentally) that the United States became involved in World War I.  

Innovations in flying technology were needed to ensure victory in the Great War, and McCook became a vital site for them.  Airplanes were constructed nearby, and tested on the macadam runways of McCook. At this time, most airports more closely resembled mowed farms than modern airfields, so paved landing strips were quite a novelty.  After the war, improvements in air travel continued to be made at McCook, with men like John Macready risking their lives to ensure safe flights for future aviators. As airplanes became larger, McCook seemed to get smaller. Eventually, the Air Service threatened to move to Langley, Virginia to larger accommodations.  Dayton's leaders feared the loss of revenue and prestige the move would cause, so they acquired 4,520 acres of land not far from McCook, then donated it to the federal government.  President Calvin Coolidge accepted the gift and, in 1927, McCook Airfield shut down.  A new, larger airstrip opened called Wright Field, where the  future Wright-Patterson Air Force Base exists today. Wright-Patterson is still in service today, while McCook has become a site for leisure activities.  It would be unrecognizable to the men who flew into and out of the site one hundred years ago.

ANSWER:  A)  Internal Combustion Engines. He definitely worked to improve engines though.