My grandfather was born in 1898 in the Oklahoma Territory. He spent his childhood riding a horse, wearing a gun on his hip and creating havoc on the ground, but he had a fascination with the sky. He made his way to Prescott, Arizona and caught the eye of my grandmother when she saw him working as a mechanic on automobiles. By 1925 my grandfather mail ordered a Curtiss-Wright Airplane and put it together himself. In the same year he married my grandmother in Northern Arizona. My grandmother, who was just 18, held claim that she parachuted out of his plane after they were married.
In 1939 my grandfather flew his way to the World’s Fair in a single engine plane from Arizona to New York. He and my grandmother obviously survived their crazy antics or I wouldn’t be here telling this story. (and you thought your kids were crazy) My grandparents had two daughters, one being my mother.
World War II broke out and my grandfather and his brother went to Dallas Texas for one lesson in flying and my grandfather was hired as the Director of Southwest Airways for his aviation experience. He was commissioned by the government to train flight instructors for the military and put on a military uniform. I could go on about all the famous people who enrolled to take flight training under the instruction of my grandfather during W W II, like Gene Autry, John Paine and Norma Shearer, but that is another story.
By 1946 my grandfather opened the first Flying Service in Arizona on Sky Harbor Airport. It was called Davis Flying Service. He taught many people how to fly airplanes, one of those people was my father. My father married my mother in 1947 and new world opened up to a man who fought on the ground as a sniper shooter in W W II in Europe. My father was one of the most successful and respected Corporate pilots in Arizona.
My grandparents were married for 62 years when my grandfather passed away and my parents were married for 56 years when my father passed away. Both men, are a legend in their own right and time to what they brought to the history of flying in this Country.
It certainly does not take away from aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright who invented the first mechanically powered airplane. Orville Wright flew that plane called “Flyer 1” at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. It flew 120 feet in 12 seconds and made flying history. Although the Wright Brothers built and sold bicycles in Ohio, they started experimenting with kites, gliders and hot air balloons that led them to build the first airplane.
Rodrig Goliescu invented the “avioplan”, which was the first plane with a long fuselage that allowed more fuel in planes for longer flights.
Glenn Hammond Curtiss built a plane that flew one kilometer (6 tenths of a mile) in 1908. He built the seaplane in 1911, that was used by the Navy and invented the aileron, which are movable flaps on the wings, that control the airplanes movement of rolling and banking. Curtiss was best known for his plane, the JN4 that was called the Jenny. It was used in World War 1.
Curtiss and the Wright brothers merged their companies becoming the Curtiss Wright Corporation.
Flying has certainly come a long way in the last 104 years, but with all the people taking a risk and getting involved in flying through space on this Planet, which started with a 120 feet in 12 seconds, have defended freedom in wars, broke the sound barrier, transport millions of people everyday around the world, brought NASA into being, to put men on the moon and the Hubble Telescope into space.
Of course, with all the positives of air transportation and flights through space someone, namely our own President of the United States, George Bush, has to come along to create the biggest negative with in-bound Earth flights in and out of the United States, by moving the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from the U.S. Department of Transportation that over saw all transportation methods in this Country and most were privately owned, to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security a year and a half after 911, which is now governed by the Federal Government. Unfortunately, since then, the United States Government has created the biggest Gestapo with the TSA since Hitler.
Seems to me, being a citizen of this Country, “WE THE PEOPLE” (who pay our taxes) need to take our Country back. “There will be wars and rumors of wars”, but today we need to get up and go to work, to buy food for our families and pay our bills, but just how many of you can afford medical insurance for your family or the interest rates being charged? WAKE UP AMERICA! Our Government is using us and in need of a lot of house cleaning.