AIRFORCE MUSEUM & Fly Russian Fighters!
The UK to New Zealand Air Race of
We were all amazed by the pilot skills of the recent passenger jet ditching in the Hudson River.
Take a look at this
skilled ditching in 1956.All that 1930ís and WW2 experience paid off in
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Interesting Aviation Fact
The first published accounts of Mile High Club activity was in 1916. Inventor of the automatic pilot, Lawrence Sperry and a New York Socialite,
Mrs. Waldo Polk were found naked by two duck hunters while Sperry was giving flying lessons.
As noted on the Mile High Website:
"If it is a major aeronautical achievement as everyone claims, then proper recognition should be given to the first person to attempt the sacred act at altitude. That honour can only be bestowed upon Lawrence Sperry, a daredevil pilot, mechanical genius, and of course, inventor of the automatic pilot. Born on December 22, 1892, Sperry lived only a scant 31 years. But in that short lifespan his accomplishments were great. At the age of 18, he built a full scale glider that flew. Wild in the sky, he made his first parachute jump in 1918 and flew loops under the Brooklyn Bridge. He would be the first person to fly a woman over New York City. As a mechanical visionary he invented the turn and bank indicator, retractable landing gear, and perfected the aerial torpedo. During his short remarkable life he held 24 patents."
"Besides intellect, Sperry was also handsome and rich, a combination that led to a succession of women, and according to biographer William Davenport, oftentimes multiple partners. The tabloids liked him, and had a field day with the stories about drinking and wild parties. You have to remember this was during a time when it was unlawful for women to display bare arms in public."
"It was during November of 1916, when Sperry began giving flying lessons to a New York socialite by the name of Mrs. Waldo Polk. Polk's husband was off in France driving an ambulance at the time. The couple were aloft in a Curtiss flying boat over Babylon, New York one day, evidently engaging in carnal pleasure through the benefit of Sperry's recently devised autopilot. Suddenly something went wrong, and the plane plunged 500 feet into great South Bay."
"Two duck hunters paddled to the
wreck and rescued, much to their amazement, the naked couple.
Apparently Sperry stated the crash "divested" them of their
clothing. The couple was brought to Southside Hospital, with Sperry
walking, and Polk alongside in a stretcher."