JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Flyboy: 1912

Flyboy: 1912

1912. "Army aviation, College Park. Tests of Curtiss plane for Army. Single control." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Curtiss Model D 1911

A shoulder yoke was used to twist the wing for turns. The "tail" was out in front. The 1911 Curtiss Model E had the empennage mounted in the rear and had the first ailerons. "the character of their landing will be counted in the awarding of the prize." Meaning an award to the pilot that didn't convert one of Uncle Sam's prized kites into kindling on landing.

Happy 100th

August 29, 2009, the College Park Airport is celebrating its 100th birthday.

That helmet.

Would be of great protection on any kind of frontal collision. Particularly from the large engine and radiator sitting directly behind you.


The wacky helmet is a direct result of 1st Lt. Thomas Selfridge. He was the first armed forces aviator to die in a plane crash. It is speculated that had he lived, Selfridge would have become an aviation marvel.

Are We Not Men?

We are DEVO!

Hap Arnold

Lt Henry H. Arnold, known as "Hap", had an impressive military career. He was Military Aviator number 2, Chief of Staff of the Army Air Forces during WWII ("the big one" as Mr Gillis used to say), General of the Army and General of the Air Force (5 stars). He was also responsible for what later became Rand Corporation.

That's the thing about second never know what will become of them until much later.

Answer to Un-asked Question

To answer the question which was asked of a previous shot of a Curtiss aeroplane, the strap running over the pilot's shoulders and onto the padded bar was not an early seat belt, although it may have functioned as such somewhat. It was in fact connected to the rudder, so that the pilot turned the wheel(ailerons) and swayed his torso to achieve coordinated turns. The current system of foot pedals for rudder control wasn't agreed upon ontil the Curtiss JN4-D Jenny), I believe.

Thomas Dewitt Milling

The pilot looks so young! As the Anonymous Tipster suggests, he does appear similar to Lieut. Thomas ("Tommy") Dewitt Milling, and indeed there is evidence that Milling flew at College Park in 1912. More on the history of army aviation at College Park at the College Park Aviation Museum, the National Park Service, and the College Park Airport.

Wireless From Aeroplane

Lieut. Milling Sends Message From Machine to Field Station

Lieut. Thomas Dewitt Milling and George W. Beatty, the aviator, starred in tests of the new type C Wright aeroplane at the army aviation school at College Park, Md., yesterday. It was a day of much activity. Flights started before 7 o'clock in the morning and lasted until sunset.
One of the most brilliant of the performances was that of Lieut. Milling. Carrying a wireless instrument weighing 70 pounds in a cross-country flight, he sent messages to the wireless station on the aviation field. The feat was attempted on the orders of the wireless service department.

Washington Post, Jul 28, 1912

Army Men Soar High

Milling's Second Successful Flight at College Park.

Soaring to the height of 1,300 feet at 6 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Lieut. Thomas DeWitt Milling, of the army aviation school, completed the last of two successful flights which he has made at College Park. Several other flights were made in preparation for the Labor day celebration at Benning tomorrow.

Washington Post, Sep 1, 1912

Air Scouts Contest Today

Army Fliers to Compete for the Clarence H. Mackay Trophy.

A competitive test in aerial reconnaissance work by army aviators is to be held today, and the winner will receive the Clarence H. Mackay trophy.

Starting from College Park early this morning, Lieuts. Roy Kirtland, Henry H. Arnold, and Dewitt Milling, of the aviation corps, will carry sealed orders directing them to locate and report upon the approaching "enemy." the closeness with which the aviators approximate the character, size and location of the various divisions of the sham opposing army; also the proximity of their landing to their starting points, and the character of their landing will be counted in the awarding of the prize.

Any flier who operates at a height of less and 1,000 feet will be disbarred, such recklessness being considered suicidal in time of war. This will be the first time in Mackay trophy has been competed for. Hereafter, however, annual competitions will be held.

Washington Post, Oct 9, 1912

Lieutenant Milling

This looks to be the same Lt. Milling pictured in a two seater here, though now he has a plane of his own.

Nice Flowerpot

Not only have airplanes evolved over time but so have the crash helmets.


Looks like a real strut of bamboo connected to the wheel and probably to the elevator control surface! Bamboo is really strong, however.

[Kind of a built-in shish kebab skewer in case of a crash. - Dave]

Re: Struts

It is bamboo, the stuff has good strength for its weight. Those airplanes were glorified box kites with a not particularly powerful engine lashed on.


Tell me that isn't bamboo.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.