October 4, 1928 The opening day of the First National Aeronautical Safety Conference took place at the Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue in New York City. This conference was held under the auspices of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. This conference reflected efforts both within the United States and across the... Continue Reading →

Francisco D. Mercado, Jr., who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II, was born in East Los Angeles, California, in 1920. As a Hispanic American, he experienced one of his most egregious encounters with prejudice after graduating from high school in 1939. Having shown both a strong aptitude and interest... Continue Reading →

September 27, 1899 Aviation pioneer Dean Cullen Smith was born at his grandparents’ home in the city of Cove, Oregon. After graduating from high school in the Beaver State, he attended Principia College in St. Louis, Missouri, for two years.  The origins of Smith’s strong interest and involvement in flight activities can be traced to... Continue Reading →

September 23, 1942 An airport built for use by the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was opened in the vicinity of the city of Frederick, Oklahoma. This airport began operations nearly 10 months after the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies. Originally called Frederick Army Airfield, it was also... Continue Reading →

September 20, 1904 Wilbur Wright made the first circular flight of a powered aircraft while piloting the Wright Flyer II plane off the ground of Huffman Prairie, a patch of rough pasture in southwestern Ohio. This flight took place 10 months after Wilbur and his brother Orville had made aviation history near the North Carolina... Continue Reading →

September 14, 1934 The first flight of a newly organized Mexican airline took place between Mexico City and Acapulco. Aeronaves de México was founded by banker and entrepreneur Antonio Díaz Lombardo. He appreciated the tourist potential of the seaport city of Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific coast and saw regular airborne service as one of the... Continue Reading →

September 9, 1911 The world’s first scheduled mail delivery via plane took place in England when pioneer aviator Gustav Hamel flew a Blériot XI aircraft between the Hendon airfield in north London and the Great Park (located just south of the royal residence of Windsor Castle). King George V had given permission for Hamel’s plane and... Continue Reading →

August 19, 1904 Automotive and aeronautical engineer Maurice Wilks was born on Hayling Island, which is off the southern coast of England. Wilks worked for the British automobile manufacturer Hillman Motor Car Company from 1922 to 1926 and then spent two years in the United States at General Motors. He returned to Hillman in 1928 as... Continue Reading →

August 12, 1882 Vincent Hugo Bendix, an inventor who became a pioneer in both the automotive and aviation industries, was born in Moline, Illinois. His first major effort in the transportation world involved establishing the short-lived Bendix Company of Chicago in 1907 and creating an automobile called the Bendix Buggy.  In 1910, he invented the Bendix... Continue Reading →

August 11, 1950 The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane, one of the more unconventional types of aircraft created in the United States in the post-World War II era, first took to the skies. The XC-120 was built for the U.S. Air Force by the aircraft and aerospace manufacturer Fairchild, and that transport plane made its maiden flight... Continue Reading →

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