Kidman J. Williams – August 19 marks National Aviation Day here in the US. Now aviation is sitting with its own holiday with Mothers, Fathers, Sweetest(s), and Valentine’s Day. You can’t forget to include some of the other weird ones like Bikini Day (July 5), Steak and BJ Day (March 14), and Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day. No, I didn’t make these up.
Thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aviation Day came to existence in 1939. FDR gave us a holiday for a piece of technological history that the country should be proud of.
It has been 112 years since the bicycle shop boys the Wright brothers took their fateful flight. If it wasn’t for their advanced thinking we might be stuck on the ground for hours of driving time and children screaming the whole way.
The US should not forget the pioneers of aviation. One of the most famous and richest, being Howard Hughes. In 1932 he established Hughes Aircraft Company. This pioneer set many aviation records. In 1935 Hughes broke the speed record for flying over the land at 352 mph.
Hughes, 2 years later managed to break another record. He broke the transcontinental US speed record when he flew from Burbank, Cal to Newark, NJ in just 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
Then on July 10, 1938 Hughes with a crew of just four men broke the around-the-world flight record. Hughes and his crew took off from Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field. He took his Lockheed Super Electra around the world making refueling stops in Paris, Moscow, Omsk and Yakutsk, Fairbanks and Minneapolis. He made the trip in just 3 days, 19 hours and 17 minutes. Hughes was a certified hero in the eyes of the public.
Honorable mention should go to Leonardo Di Vinci who had plans for some of the earliest plans for flying machines.
Cheers to the men who made human flight possible and to those who continue to progress the industry and push the limits of flight.