Saturday, January 31, 2009

Longmont Aviation, 1919-style

I don't know much about aviation but there are at least two readers here who are fairly savvy on the subject!

(Picture to the right is a 1918 Curtiss JN-4)

From the Longmont Ledger, September 26, 1919:
The Airplane

The airplane arrived Friday morning from Denver, and a large number of Longmont people took advantage of the opportunity to ride the sky. The rate was $12.50 each, two for each trip. The landing and starting was made from Dave St. Clair's farm northwest of Longmont, and a good many went out to see the sight. Longmont people had a good chance to see the big bird as it flew over town.
Short articles like this always raise a bunch of questions!

Did Dave's farm set the precedent for building the Longmont Airport in the western part of town? Hopefully there will be an update to this later, when I find out where the St. Clair farm was located. (Longmont does have a St. Clair Avenue but it is in the east part of town).

$12.50 in 1919 was not a trivial outlay for a simple jaunt over town: it's roughly equivalent to $153 today, which in late January 2009 can get you 3400 miles in the air on a commercial round trip ticket (21-day advanced purchase, of course) between Denver and Ft. Lauderdale, FL!

What type of aircraft do you suppose was used for this type of excursion? Do you think the pilot was a WW I veteran?

1 comment:

Longmont Examiner said...

Great article and photos!
I'll have to check on that missing info for you :)