AIR TRAVEL : Martin Aviation's New Headquarters at John Wayne Will Honor Its Founder

Compiled by Chris Woodyard, Times staff writer

The company founded by one of Orange County's early airplane pilots will be getting a new home at John Wayne Airport.

Martin Aviation is building a 46,000-square-foot headquarters that will include offices, a hanger and a museum honoring the aviation pioneer Eddie Martin, for whom the company is named.

The $4.2-million building on a 10-acre site along Campus Drive on the east side of the airport is expected to be completed in September.

Architects J.P. Darling & Associates in Newport Beach designed the new Martin headquarters to be true to its purpose: The roof is in the shape of a huge airfoil like an airplane wing.

Tucked underneath will be twin sets of offices flanking the main hanger. The hanger will have 28-foot sliding doors, capable of accommodating the tallest private planes being flown today, as well as those planned for the future.

Pilots will find a store, lounge, showers and flight planning rooms. The executive conference area will have its own kitchenette.

"Upon completion, Martin Aviation will have a 20-year extension on its leasehold, ensuring continuation of the Martin name in aviation at John Wayne," General Manager Patrick J. Kenna said at groundbreaking ceremonies earlier this month.

The Martin name stretches back to aviation pioneer Martin, the barnstormer who brought aviation to Orange County 72 years ago. The museum dedicated to his exploits will be filled with memorabilia on loan from his descendants.

Martin Aviation is a division of Air/Lyon, which is chaired by Orange County developer and retired Air Force Major Gen. William Lyon.

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