Aerial photo of Mettetal Airport Canton (photo courtesy of Mettetal)

 

Mettetal Airport is a non-towered airport (ie: no control tower) that was founded in 1939 on 63 acres in Canton, Michigan. One of the hangars contains a rare resource in the form of Paulson Aviation Library.

John Maxfield, VP of EAA Chapter 113, graciously answered questions and provided a fascinating tour.

“We have about 3,500 volumes. The library was started in 2002 and is hyper-focused on all things aviation. Our main librarian is Barb Cook but she’s on vacation right now. And yes, this is a functional library, Dewey catalogued and everything.”

 

Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by Ryan M. Place)

 

“The library features mostly books. Non-fiction, biographical, military, reference & technical manuals. We also have vintage journals, flight manuals, various ephemera, photos, DVDs and VHS tapes.”

“Some classic standard books we have are Stick and Rudder (1944), We (1927) Lindbergh, and Carrying the Fire (1974). I’m currently looking for a decent copy of Sled Driver (1991) by Brian Schul.”

“The founder of our library, Robert Paulson, was a Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. He was a CAP Chaplain, lived in Dearborn, and was parish priest at Church of the Holy Cross in Novi. He was also a book enthusiast and initially started this library by donating his own personal collection. He didn’t own an airplane, so this was his main project. And it’s grown over the years mostly via donations.”

“Mettetal Airport was started by Bob Mettetal. He was a bomber pilot in WWII. His brother Marv (Marvin) was also a pilot. The Mettetal family owned the land since 1920 when it was purchased by Bob’s dad Raphael (Ray) Mettetal. They had a greenhouse and decided to build an airport. Currently, Mettetal is mostly a recreation airport for enthusiasts, and it’s also used by corporations and air ambulances. It’s owned by MDOT Office of Aeronautics.”

 

Robert Mettetal @ Mettetal Airport Canton (photo courtesy of Google Archives)

 

The State of Michigan has made a couple of incredible historic contributions to the field of aviation. In the 1920’s-30’s, Ford Motor Company invented commercial airline travel with the Ford-Trimotor Airplane. What is now Ford Proving Ground (Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn) used to be the Ford Airport, which had one of the world’s first paved runways. The Dearborn Inn across the street was one of the first air travel hotels. And the other contribution was of course the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti during World War Two.”

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is the world’s largest recreation sport aviation association. EAA Chapter 113 was founded here at Mettetal in 1961. Our nickname is the Backyard Eagles. Anyone from the general public can join. Legally, the chapter cannot own an airworthy airplane but flying clubs can form within. Our chapter has 4 flying clubs with 7 airplanes, mostly single-engine Cessnas.”

“We host interesting speakers monthly every 3rd Thursday. We’ve had authors, parachute riggers, aviation medics, astronauts, military personnel, etc. And our Young Eagles program offers free airplane rides for those aged 8-17. We do this four times per year.”

 

Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by Ryan M. Place)

 

Donate your aviation books (they may possibly purchase exceptionally rare items)

[email protected]

Paulson Aviation Library is available by appointment and also during regular gatherings (3rd Thurs of the month, 7:30pm) and events (see calendar on their website).

 

Paulson Aviation Library @ Mettetal Airport

8550 N. Lilley Road

Canton, MI 48187

 

EAA Chapter 113 @ Mettetal Airport

https://chapters.eaa.org/eaa113

 

Young Eagles

https://www.yeday.org/

 

EAA Chapter 113 @ Mettetal Airport Canton (photo courtesy of EAA)

 

Mettetal Airport records @ Plymouth Historical Museum

https://plymouthhistory.org/cm/dpl/downloads/content/57/Mettetal_Airport_RG_5_.pdf

 

Genealogy info for Mettetal Family

https://www.oocities.org/heartland/hills/8073/tiny1.html

 

Directory of Michigan Airports

https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/travel/mobility/aeronautics/airports

 

Col. Robert W. Paulson @ Mettetal Airport

 

Robert Paulson comments on NW Crash

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1987/08/17/Investigators-today-tentatively-ruled-out-sabotage-aboard-a-Northwest/1893556171200/

 

Robert Paulson obituary

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/detroitnews/name/robert-paulson-obituary?id=41424130

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/83855512/robert-waldron-paulson

 

Some other interesting aviation libraries to check out:

 

  • MI-Kzoo-WMU’s Waldo Library-flight simulator lab
  • OH-Dayton-Museum of the USAF
  • WashDC-Smithsonian Ntl Air and Space Museum library (40,000 volumes)
  • WA-Seattle-Museum of Flight’s Bracklin Library (36,000 volumes)
  • TX-UT Dallas-McDermott Lib-Aviation Archives

 

Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Sonex 2012 airplane built by John Maxfield. 130 mph cruising speed (photo courtesy of John Maxfield)

Col. Robert W. Paulson

Paulson Aviation Library

Flight simulator @ Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport

Mettetal Airport (Canton, Michigan)

Barb Cook, librarian at Paulson Aviation Library @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport

John Maxfield, VP of EAA Chapter 113 @ Canton’s Mettetal Airport (photo by John Maxfield)

Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

John Maxfield @ Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Proposed airplane mechanics school @ Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Robert Mettetal @ Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Robert Mettetal @ Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Mettetal Airport Canton archives (courtesy of Google Archives)

Michigan State Police at Mettetal Airport Canton (photo courtesy of MSP)

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