Graf Zeppelin and the Pre-World War I Development of His Rigid Airship

On August 31, 1895, German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patented his navigable balloon. Zeppelin pioneered development of the rigid airship at the beginning of the 20th century. His notions were first formulated in 1874 and developed in detail in 1893. They were patented in Germany in 1895 and in the United States in 1899. After the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the word zeppelin came … Continue reading Graf Zeppelin and the Pre-World War I Development of His Rigid Airship

John Wise and America’s First Air Mail Flight

The United States Postal Service commemorated the 100th anniversary of its Air Mail services with two stamps released earlier this year. However, mail had been transported by air long before the Army pilots in their Curtiss Jenny JN-4HM “Jenny” biplanes made their fights on May 15, 1918. The first airmail flight in the United States actually occurred nearly 60 years before in Lafayette, Indiana. While … Continue reading John Wise and America’s First Air Mail Flight

Democratic People's Republic of Korea #2245 (1982) digitally cropped

First Manned (Tethered) Balloon Ascent, 1783

On October 15, 1783, Étienne Montgolfier became the first human to lift off the earth. He did this in a (tethered) hot air balloon called the Aérostat Réveillon, designed and built by Étienne and his older brother Joseph in their shop in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (August  26, 1740 – June 26, 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (January 6, 1745 – August 2, 1799) were the inventors … Continue reading First Manned (Tethered) Balloon Ascent, 1783

United States #C45 (1949)

United States National Aviation Day

I have been fascinated by aviation for my entire life.  The park near where I lived around 6 or 7 years of age featured a stripped World War II bomber (either a B-17 or a B-24, I can’t recall) that us kids loved to climb through and play on.  Many family trips included visits to various museums dedicated to flight and there was a branch … Continue reading United States National Aviation Day