05/25/2022 “Flying High”   Leave a comment

Let me start by saying I hate flying. Over the last 30 years I must’ve flown 500 times while working for a number of companies. It was “white knuckle” all the way for me, every flight, every airline. I had no choice but to fly but I didn’t like it one bit and still don’t. It was not the actual flying that bothered me, only the people flying the plane. I’m too much of a control freak to be comfortable having someone else with my life in their hands and that’s never going to change. Since we’re talking about airplanes today here are a few tidbits about the history of aviation.

  • Twenty-one of the first twenty-three astronauts who flew on space missions were either an only child or were firstborn sons.
  • The first aerial photograph was taken from a balloon during the United States Civil War.
  • After the first moon walk, in 1969, Pan American Airlines began accepting reservations for commercial flights to the moon, dates and time unspecified. More than 80,000 requests poured in immediately.
  • The first coast-to-coast airplane flight in the United States from New York City to Pasadena, California, by Galbraith P. Rogers in 1911, took 49 days. Obviously, there were many, many stops.
  • After the Wright brothers had flown four times on that historic day in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, a gust of wind overturned and wrecked their wooden flyer. They stuffed the pieces and fabric coverings into barrels and shipped them back to their bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio.
  • A German inventor placed an engine on an aircraft in 1900 and flew it successfully, three years before the Wright brothers. The inventor was Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, but the aircraft was not heavier than air. Von Zeppelin had invented the dirigible – the “Zeppelin”.
  • The first “airmail” letter in the United States was written by President George Washington, who gave it to the Frenchman, John Pierre Blanchard, to carry with him on the first balloon flight in America.
  • Astronauts circling the earth may get to see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day.
  • The first freight shipped by air from Chicago was loaded under an armed guard. Handled by National Air Transport, in 1927, the item was a “ten gallon” Stetson hat to be delivered to Will Rogers, the popular comedian.
  • A 31-year-old airplane mechanic named Douglas Corrigan took off in his monoplane from Floyd Bennett Field in New York in July 1938, and supposedly headed towards his home in California. The next day he landed in Ireland, saying, “I guess I flew the wrong way.” He became famous, paraded down Broadway, made a movie, and earned the nickname that stuck with him from then on, “Wrong Way Corrigan”.

HAPPY FLYING

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