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Heidy's History Hangar 3/31/2009

Posted on Tue, 31 Mar 2009 15:26:11 GMT

Good to see you all again, hope you're enjoying these tidbits as much as I am finding them!

On this date in:

-- Richard Pearse (1877 - 1953), a farmer and inventor from New Zealand, is thought to have made a successful flight and landing in a powered aircraft.  This date would mean he flew nine months before the Wright brothers.  Some controversy surrounds the date, including conflictory reports from Pearce himself.  The flight was not what one would consider "controlled," however, his was the first aircraft to use ailerons.  A later Pearse aircraft, kept at Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology, had STOL-like features, such as tilting engines, variable-pitch propeller, leading-edge flaps, and (gasp) wheel brakes!


--Farman biplanes made an outstanding showing in the world’s first hydroplane competitions, held in Monaco. Jules Fisher, a Belgian pilot, took first place. He was one of only two non-French pilots of the eight entrants.

Fisher also set a speed record in a Farman Hydroglider on November 24, 1924.



--First flight of Travel Air Model 2000.  The aircraft was powered by a 90 hp Curtis OX-5 engine.  The "Wicheta Fokker" so resembled the Fokker D.VII that Howard Hughes used the 2000 and 3000 series as fill-ins for the D.VII in the film "Hell's Angels."


--A Royal Canadian Air Force de Havilland CC-115 with an inflatable landing system, much like the air-cushion on a hovercraft flew for the first time.  The CC-115 is also known as the DMC-5 Buffalo.


-- Gus McLeod, a Maryland man, landed his single engine airplane in Antarctica during his attempt to become the first person to fly around the world over both poles in a single engine aircraft. He left College Park Airfield January 21st.

Sorry, I couldn't find any birthdays today.

Do please PM me with comments or suggestions.

Thanks for reading, have a 29.92 day!

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Ian Stephens

About Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation enthusiast also with a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at


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