Claud Holbert and Thomas Smith

the challenge

In 1939 very few people had even seen the inside of an aircraft, and even fewer still were qualified to give flight instruction. But the first commercial flights in 1914 and the end of World War I had changed the way we looked at the sky. People were beginning to pursue their dreams of flying.

Learning to fly meant joining the select few who had already committed their lives to the freedom of the open air. It meant coming into direct contact with experiences and situations most people only witnessed on the silver screen - or listened to in stories. But once in a while, a visionary appears. And visionaries do more than just tell stories. A visionary turns dreams, even the dreams of others, into reality. 

Claud Holbert was one of those men. He knew what would be demanded of his country as it rose to meet the significant challenges that lay ahead. And while most people busied themselves with news of the second looming war in Europe, Claud L. Holbert set out to change the future. And it was his vision which literally opened the skies above Central Arkansas, giving those willing to accept the challenge the opportunity to earn their wings.

By the time the US Government designated Central Flying Service an Advanced War Pilot Training Center leading into World War II, Claud Holbert's method of training young men to meet the challenges of flight was widely known. And with sixty-five aircraft and thirty flight instructors looking to him for leadership, Claude Holbert guided his students and his growing company into aviation history. 

But that's just the beginning of the story.



Are you ready to write your name into the rich history of aviation at Central Flying Service?
Find out if you've got what it takes to earn your wings. Visit our Flight Training Department today.

Speak with a professional pilot: 501-975-9330