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First Shipboard Aircraft Takeoff (1910) Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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First Shipboard Aircraft Takeoff (1910)

A year after learning to fly, aviator Eugene Ely performed an experiment for the US Navy: he took off from a temporary platform built over the bow of the USS Birmingham, anchored off Virginia's coast, and became the first person to take off from a ship in a fixed-wing aircraft. Two months later, he performed the first shipboard landing, using the first tailhook system to land on the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay, California. He died less than a year later while doing what? More...
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 7:16:06 AM

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Eugene B. Ely

This guy died aged 24? He looks a lot older than that in this photo.
Elsayyed Hassan
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 9:45:09 AM

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Ely was born in Williamsburg, Iowa and raised in Davenport, Iowa. Having completed the eighth grade, he graduated from Davenport Grammar School 4 in January 1901.[2] Although some sources indicate that he attended and graduated from Iowa State University in 1904 (when he would have been 17), the registrar of ISU reports that there is no record of him having done so (nor did he attend the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa).[3] Ely likewise does not appear in the graduations lists for Davenport High School.[4] By 1904 he was employed as a chauffeur to the Rev. Fr. Smyth, a Catholic priest in Cosgrove, Iowa, who shared Ely's love of fast driving; in Father Smyth's car (a red Franklin), Ely set the speed record between Iowa City and Davenport.[5]

Ely was living in New Jersey at the time of the earthquake and fire[6] and was active there in the early days of the sales and racing of automobiles.[7] He married Mabel Hall on August 7, 1907; he was 21 and she was 17, which meant the marriage required her mother's consent;[7][8] they honeymooned in Colorado.[9] The Elys relocated to Nevada City, California in 1909, and for a time he drove an "auto stage" delivery route.[10]
monamagda
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:23:50 PM

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The Short, Eventful Life of Eugene B. Ely

On 19 October, before 8,000 delighted spectators at the Georgia State Fair Grounds in Macon, Ely plunged his plane toward the earth. But, instead of leveling off and coming out of the dive, the craft continued downward. Ely was able to jump clear, but his neck was broken, and he died a few minutes later. As he himself had predicted, he "kept at it" until he was killed. Yet by contemporary standards, Eugene Ely was no reckless, daredevil barnstormer. He was a careful, conscientious flyer who, unfortunately, on this occasion simply misjudged his distance from the ground. According to The New York Times, this was the 101st recorded death in aviation history, a list which began in 1908 when Army Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge (for whom San Francisco's Selfridge Field was named) was killed at Fort Myer, Virginia, while flying with Orville Wright. Four Europeans died in 1909, 32 people in 1910, and 99 in 1911.

There is in this tale a note of sadness, not just because Eugene Ely's life was so short, but because he obviously was a very intelligent individual who could have contributed much more than he did to early aviation.

It is quite clear that Eugene Ely was eager to quit the merry-go-round of noisy crowds, hotel rooms, long train rides, and risky flights. A year of cheering and adulation was enough. He wanted to settle down and do some serious research concerning the future of aviation. But in America in 1911, that was impossible since neither private nor public money was much interested in flying machines. The French government was spending $240,000 a year on aviation competition, the Russians were contributing $100,000 to underwrite an air tour, and more than $1 million in prize money was being offered at various European meets of one sort or another. As The New York Times observed on 1 June of that year, America was "apathetic" toward aviation. At that time, by country of license, France far outdistanced all nations in air activity, having 339 registered pilots. Other countries followed in this order: Germany 43, England 39, United States 18. In short, since the United States government had no money for aviation and the public generally still thought air travel much too dangerous, the only way Eugene Ely could continue to fly was as a member of the Curtiss exhibition team, thrilling gawking throngs in town after town as he looped and dove toward the ground. His final dive, if this account from the 28 October issue of Aero is accurate, ended on an especially bitter note.

"The crowd was uncontrolled and fought about his machine for several minutes after the fall. During the struggle Ely's tie, cap, and other articles of clothing disappeared."

The man who pioneered flattop aviation deserved better than that, much better.


http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1981-01/short-eventful-life-eugene-b-ely
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 2:46:45 PM

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Important stage in the development of aviation.
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