Exactly 100 Years Ago In San Francisco, The First Landing of an Aircraft on a Ship
|10:48:58 AM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011|
“One hundred years is a very long time. Yet in the hierarchy of modern marvels, the ability to recover and launch aircraft from the deck of a moving ship stands out as one of our most signature accomplishments. Which just goes to show you: Some tricks never grow old.
Naval aviation was invented one hundred years ago today, on January 18, 1911, when a 24 year-old barnstormer pilot named Eugene B. Ely completed the world's first successful landing on a ship. It happened in San Francisco Bay, aboard the cruiser USS Pennsylvania, which had a temporary, 133-foot wooden landing strip built above her afterdeck and gun turret as part of the experiment…”
-- Ely's landing was just eight years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk. His aircraft was a super rudimentary Curtiss Model D "Pusher" biplane equipped with a 60 hp V-8 engine that gave the aircraft a 50 mph airspeed. I linked to another blog that has a great summary of the event, but you can find more info just about anywhere, including the US Navy website.