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Aviation History

               Aviation History Film Clips

Just Another Airborne Wedding Ceremony (Literary Digest, 1922)

Another article on this site marks 1912 as being the year that saw the first airborne wedding ceremony; but this article reported on the first wedding to be performed in a Fokker Monoplane with the added benefit of a wireless radio transmitter that broadcast the event to numerous well-wishers down below. The wedding was officiated by non-other than "the Flying Parson" himself, Belvin W. Maynard. Maynard was a legend in early aviation and he died in a crash some four months later.

The number of in-flight nuptials that have been performed since the first in 1912 are too numerous to count; however the last high-profile event took place in the Fall of 2007, when Sir Richard Branson (b. 1950) of Virgin Airlines presided over an in-flight wedding ceremony at 35,000 feet en route from San Francisco to Las Vegas.


Odd-Shaped Propeller More Efficient (Popular Mechanics, 1918)

For at least one week in 1918, the slide-rule jockeys lounging about in the faculty watering holes at the aeronautical engineering brain-trusts believed that the propeller illustrated herein was pretty slick, and bound to bring greater speed to the aircraft of the day. But the bright lads at couldn't help but notice that this propeller design was never seen any time after this issue of POPULAR MECHANICS was on the stand, so we have our doubts concerning the "increased efficiency" that the propeller was credited in creating...

What do you think?


Two Color Photographs of French Military Aircraft (1915)

Two color pictures of French World War I aircraft said to have played a part during the Battle of the Marne. At this point in the war, aircraft was primarily used for observation, which explains why the planes are unarmed.


Flight Clothing for Aviators (Sears and Roebuck, 1918)

The inability of the Sears & Roebuck Company to understand the nature of early aviation was made manifest by the fact that the first pilots used to wear horse-back riding clothes before taking to the skies.

Attached, you will find two pages from the Sears Military Equipment Catalog of 1918, pictured are flight-clothing items offered for military or private purchase.


1911: The First U.S. Shipboard Landing (Naval Operations, 1970)

"At 11:01 a.m., (January 18, 1911) Eugene Ely (1886 - 1911), flying a Curtiss Pusher, landed on a specially built platform aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania at anchor in San Francisco Bay."

A black and white photograph of the event is provided.


Aviation Without Law (The Outlook, 1922)

An outraged opinion writer argued that the time had arrived for government to issue flying licenses to responsible pilots, while keeping the others grounded:

"...President Harding and thousands of spectators at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial are placed in jeopardy by an irresponsible, low flying aviator; and the lives of countless thousands of innocent spectators at the Yale Bowl and other stadiums are risked unnecessarily because the House of Representatives has so far failed to provide, as forty other nations have provided, for Government regulation of civil aviation"


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