Archive for May 20th, 2009

20
May
09

Taylor Aerocar

The Taylor Aerocar has a significant place in history because it has the unique distinction of being the only “certified” airplane that can also drive on US highways.

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A pusher type airplane with the propeller located at the end of the tail, the wings could be folded back, as shown in these pictures, and could also be completely detached from the automobile portion of the airplane.

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The wings could also be towed behind the automobile like a trailer which allowed the driver/pilot the ability to use other airports than the one landed at.

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Taylor Aerocars sold for about $25,000.  This plane can be found at:  EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information see: Taylor Aerocar

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20
May
09

On This Day, May 20: The Spirit of St Louis

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May 20, 1927

Spirit of St. Louis departs

At 7:52 a.m., American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, on the world’s first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean and the first ever nonstop flight between New York to Paris.

Lindbergh, a daring young airmail pilot, was a dark horse when he entered a competition with a $25,000 payoff to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. He ordered a small monoplane, configured it to his own design, and christened it the Spirit of St. Louis in tribute to his sponsor–the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.

On May 20, 1927, a rainy morning, he took off from Roosevelt Field, but his monoplane was so loaded down with fuel that it barely cleared the telephone wires at the end of the runway. He flew northeast up the East Coast and as night fell left Newfoundland and headed across the North Atlantic. His greatest challenge was staying awake; he had to hold his eyelids open with his fingers and hallucinated ghosts passing through the cockpit. The next afternoon, after flying 3,610 miles in 33 1/2 hours, Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget field in Paris, becoming the first pilot to accomplish the solo, nonstop transatlantic crossing. Lindbergh’s achievement made him an international celebrity and won widespread public acceptance of the airplane and commercial aviation.

“<I>Spirit of St. Louis</I> departs,” The History Channel website, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5018 (accessed May 20, 2009).

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