National Geographic : 1953 Dec
MOI tl Iy 'i 748 1. S. N vy,Official A Sailors on Masts Watch Eugene Ely Land + First Transcontinental Flight: on History's First "Airplane Carrier" Vin Fiz Flyer Advertises a Drink Ely in 1911 proved carriers practicable by landing at 40 miles an hour on the stern of the cruiser Pennsyl vania, which had rigged a deck platform scarcely wider than his Curtiss biplane. Ropes stretched between sand bags arrested his speed. Shortly after, he took off and flew 12 miles to an airfield near San Francisco. The world's first aircraft carrier preceded the Penn sylvania by half a century. During the Civil War the G. W . Parke Custis, a remodeled coal barge, carried an observation balloon to spy on Confederate positions across the Potomac. Calbraith Perry Rodgers bridged the United States in 1911, flying from Long Island to Pasadena in 49 days, then as an afterthought on to Long Beach. lHe covered some 4,250 miles in 70 hops. Actual flight took about 82 hours; today's jet record is 4 hours 13 minutes. Sixteen accidents caused so many repairs that only the rudder and two wing struts were left of the Vin Fi: original. Its rudder sign publicized a soft drink whose manufacturer sponsored the flight. Rodgers was a grandnephew of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, U. S . Navy, who opened Japan to the West. Brown Brothers ~jias l~g~ ;dLr -"