Wanted: one decommissioned Learjet, shipped to the William P. Lear Field at Hannibal Regional Airport.

Hannibal's Bicentennial Committee hopes to land a Learjet on the cheap for next year's big celebration. It would become a permanent fixture there to honor Hannibal native Bill Lear. He became famous world-wide when he launched the first business jet in 1963. The Learjet took off to fame and fortune soon after.

Lear was a prolific inventor. He was instrumental in developing radio communication systems for the airline industry. Autopilot was a Lear brainchild. He also owned the patent for 8-track tape player.

The Quincy Herald Whig recently ran an interesting article about Lear's background and contributions to modern day aviation. He was born in Hannibal in 1902 but he also lived in Barry, IL and Quincy. He founded the company that was a precursor to Motorola headquartered in Quincy. The Lear memorial is part of a huge celebration to honor Hannibal's 200th birthday. You can see some of the plans at www.hannibal2019.com.