Grand Forks 1911 Fair Highlights

Two Aviators To Fly At Fair; All In Readiness For Opening. Fine Program For Tuesday. Opening Day of Fair Is Grand Forks Day – Stores Will Be Closed. Parmelee and McGoey to Fly. Noted Aviator and Local Man Who Has Demonstrated Skill to Aviate. Deal Was Closed With Local Enthusiast Last Evening – Fair Grounds Scene of Real Activity Yesterday – Special Exhibits Will Be Interesting Feature – Other Features of State Fair. Yes theyre all coming in for the big state fair. To say that the North Dakota fair which throws its gates open to the public at 8 o’clock Tuesday morning is going to be the biggest, best and most satisfying from every point of view in the fair history of North Dakota is to say what has already been said scores of times. But the best part of it all is that the statement is unqualifiedly true. The directors held their last meeting last evening before the big show and each and every one made the above statements with variations. In fact the exhibits are coming in so fast that the directors were busy last evening telephoning around for tents in which to house some of the arrivals.

And there are going to be two aviators at the big state fair. The contract with Messrs. Thomas McGoey and F. G. Kenworthy whereby Mr. McGoey will fly on each day of the fair was formally signed last evening assuring the biggest double attraction ever offered the people of the state of North Dakota. Just think for a moment two aeroplanes, Philip O. Parmelee and the king pin of the Wright squad and Thomas McGoey the local man who has been so successful during the past two weeks will both give exhibitions. There is no chance for a fall down with this pair. Both have made good. Parmelee is an aviator of national reputation, while McGoey has been successful in every flight he has attempted with the Curtis model biplane owned by the company of which he is a member. Parmelee is expected in the city this evening with his Wright bi-plane and the people who come for the fair may expect to see some sensational features rivaling even the splendid exhibitions given in this city by the late Arch Hoxsey. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday Morning, July 23, 1911, Volume XXX, Number 228, Page 1)

Page 1. Aviator Parmelee Makes Big Hit With Splendid Feats of Flying. Four Flights On First Day. Aviator of National Reputation Not Stingy with Exhibitions. Perfect Day Aids The First Flights. Frank Coffyn, Another of Wright Team, Saw the Flights Yesterday. Parmelee Took Both Coffyn and Thomas McGoey, the local Aviator, Up for Flights – Wright Model B is Splendid Built Machine and Parmalee is Master Hand in Handling the Air Craft. Excelling in several respects the flights made by Arch Hoxsey at the Grand Forks fair last year, Philip O. Parmelee, in his Model B Wright biplane, treated visitors at the North Dakota state fair to four flights yesterday, two of which were made with a passenger. The first flight was made about 3 o’clock, the aviator remaining in the air for about 10 minutes, during which time he performed many of the maneuvers for which the Wright aviators are noted.

The second flight was made about 4 o’clock, and it was much different in its nature than any of the flights made by Hoxsey last year, in that the aviator would throttle his engine and light near the northeast corner of the track, remain there for a few seconds, and then rise gracefully in the air again. After alighting two different times in this manner, Parmelee circled around the track again, swooped down to the same spot, remained there for fully three minutes, and when he rose into the air again, carried with him as a passenger, Frank Coffyn, the Wright aviator who thrilled thousands at Winnipeg during the exposition which just closed. Coffyn is on his way to Detroit, and stopped off here to visit Parmelee during the day. He leaves the city this morning.

The third flight was made early in the evening, and, after maneuvering around the field awhile, flew over to the east end of the field, where he landed. He remained on the ground for several minutes, after which he rose into the air again in the same graceful manner which characterizes his flights, carrying Thomas McGoey, the local aviator who met with an accident in attempting to make his initial flight before a North Dakota state fair crowd. As the two men circled around the track and then across the field in front of the grandstand, they were greeted with cheer after cheer, the spectators applauding Parmelee not only for his excellent work in controlling his bird machine, but for the spirit he is displaying in assisting the Grand Forks aviator in his work. Aeroplane flights are not new to Grand Forks, but nevertheless they were the big features of yesterday’s program. Hoxsey, who has since given his life in the development of the conquest of the air, first thrilled North Dakota fair visitors with his daring feats in the air, and this robbed yesterday’s flights of some of the excitement, the expectancy and the thrills.

Parmelee demonstrated, however, that he is as finished an aviator as Hoxsey was. He did not hesitate to make the turns with the same daring that characterized Hoxsey’s work, although his roller coaster maneuvers were not as thrilling as those of his former team-mate. In his first flight last evening, just before he took McGoey with him, he made the turns with a more daring than Hoxsey, tipping his huge biplane until his body was almost parallel with the earth. His work in throttling the motor and making a complete circle with the machine almost perpendicular to the earth offered the thrillers in his work yesterday. After landing his machine the first time, Parmelee stated that the weather conditions were ideal, the air was fine to fly in and that visitors to the fair during the remaining four days would be given all the aeroplane flights, with the accompanying thrilling maneuvers, they wanted.

Initial Flight. The aeroplane was first rolled out of its canvas hangar at 2:55 o’clock, and taken across the race track to the infield, where it was pointed almost directly north, facing the wind. About five minutes later the huge propellers were in motion, and Parmelee took his seat. At a signal from the aviator, the assistants let go of the aeroplane and it skimmed lightly over the earth for a distance of about 150 feet, when it began to rise gracefully into the air. After climbing to a height of about 100 feet, Parmelee guided the machine toward the west, over the large horse barns. With the machine still pointed toward the clouds, he turned it back to the south again and flew along the south side of the track, passing the grandstand at a height of about 250 feet. He then circled down toward the main building, back to the west again, over to the north end of the field, and, after flying for a considerable distance from the grandstand, headed to-

Page 2. ward the crowd again. When about half way across the infield, he cut a complete circle, with the machine swooping toward the ground. After making this maneuver, he turned around the northeast corner and then swooped down the north side of the track, performing the roller coaster act, which Hoxsey first thrilled North Dakota spectators with. Completing this, he circled around the horse barns, and headed for the grandstand, passing that part of the field at a height of about 400 feet. He circled for the north side of the field again, swooped down to the ground, flew at a very short distance above the earth, then commenced climbing into the air again, circling around toward the east side of the field and over the top of the main building. He then turned back toward the field, going down the south side in front of the grandstand and around the west end to the north side of the field, where he commenced his maneuvering again, making the dip, cutting a complete circle, swooping down to the ground and rising as gracefully as ever. He circled around the field once more or twice more, at one time flying almost directly over the grandstand at a height of about 600 feet and off toward the east end of the field again. After circling around that section of the field once, he headed for the infield, and, when about 60 feet up, stopped his motor, guiding the aeroplane safely to the ground, where it skimmed along for a few feet and then stopped.

Second Flight. The aeroplane was wheeled back toward a position near the race track, where it remained until after McGoey had made his unlucky attempt to get into the air. About 4 o’clock Parmelee had it placed facing the wind again, preparatory to making a second flight. After running along the ground for about 100 feet, the machine rose into the air and Parmelee headed it straight for the northwest end of the field, flying over the barns. After making several flights around the field, he headed his machine toward town, flew in that direction for a considerable distance, and then dipped toward the west and swooped toward the ground, where he landed for a few seconds and then rose in the air once more.

He swept around the field several times, dipping his machine at (an) angle that made him almost parallel with the earth, now doing the dip, rising higher into the air and diving down again and now throttling his motor and doing the spiral wave, one of the most dangerous of maneuvers. After maneuvering in this manner for a short time, he once more flew to the east end of the field and then headed the aeroplane to the west. He had not gone very far, however, before he swooped down to earth, and landed around the track. He rose again in a very short time, and continued his maneuvering around the field several times more, when he landed a third time at the same place he made his other two rests. He remained on the ground fully three minutes, and, when his machine was seen pointed toward the clouds again, two passengers could be seen on the lower plane. He landed to take up Frank Coffyn, and circled around the field several times with him. After circling around the field a few times, during which time he performed several maneuvers, he landed in the infield, just as gracefully as he did the first time.

Third Flight. At about 7:50 last evening Parmelee rose into the air on his third flight of the day, and what proved to be the most spectacular from the point of maneuvering. He swept around the field several times, turning corners with all the daring of a finished aviator and with his body almost parallel to the earth, doing the dip in a manner that rivaled the work of Hoxsey in this line and then flying rapidly over to the east end of the field, where he landed and took on Thomas McGoey. He circled around the field several times with McGoey, flying at a height of about 300 and 350 feet, but not trying any of the maneuvers. He landed at about the center of the infield with McGoey, and let his machine glide over the ground until it reached the west end. McGoey then got out, and the aeroplane was turned around, and Parmelee started off on his fourth flight of the day. He enjoyed a ten minute riding before deciding to give his trusty bird a rest over night. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 26, 1911, Volume XXX, Number 230)

Page 1. Grand Forks Day Success. Big Crowd Saw North Dakota’s Greatest Fair Open for Public. Single Accident To Mar The Day. Kenworthy-McGoey Aeroplane Damaged but It Will Fly Today. With an ideal day, a splendid crowd, weather that could not be beat and everything for the visitors that was promised, North Dakota’s greatest fair opened yesterday in a most auspicious manner. There is nothing lacking and it is certain that the big crowd which will visit the city on this “Excursion day,” will be satisfied. There is not a single feature of a successful fair lacking and with that premier attraction, Aviator Parmelee, flying in the famous Wright aeroplane of latest model, the state fair board for Grand Forks have again furnished the people a show that marks an epoch in fair history in the state. Only one accident marred the enjoyment of the day and that was when the Kenworthy-McGoey Curtis bi-plane on its first flight with Aviator Thomas McGoey, crashed into a cattle barn and was damaged to some extent. Fortunately Mr. McGoey was not injured in the least and the machine will be ready by noon today to go up again.

Bi-plane Damaged. The local aviator has been unusually successful in his flights, and yesterday was his first accident, due to entirely to the fact that he did not believe he had room enough to get up after he had risen from the ground and banked his planes. McGoey stated after the accident that he was afraid of striking the automobiles and carriages and attempted to rise too rapidly, and the result that he lost his forward motion, his engine did not work properly and the bi-plane came to the ground. Just as it was near the ground, a strong gust of wind from the side caught it and sent the machine crashing into the cattle barn across from the grandstand. The accident was not one of the spectacular variety, owing to the fact that McGoey was not far from the ground, but the barn hid him from view and there was a sigh of relief when it was found that he had not even suffered a bruise.

Aviator P. O. Parmelee gave ample evidence yesterday that the fair visitors will see maneuvers and flying “stunts” never before witnessed in North Dakota. Grand Forks yesterday had the honor of entertaining two aviators of international reputation one Parmelee and the other Frank Coffyn, a fellow member of the Wright team, who flew last week in Winnipeg and is now on his way to Detroit where he will give exhibitions. Both aviators were immensely pleased with the opportunity afforded by the local fair grounds for aeroplane work. Parmelee flew yesterday no less than four times and on two occasions took passengers, at one time Frank Coffyn and in the evening Thomas McGoey, the local aviator. The Wright men were both on hand to congratulate McGoey on his escape from injury and both said that the accident was one that might easily happen. Just after McGoey left the ground and started to elevate his machine, Coffyn exclaimed to Parmelee who was sitting with him in the shade of the Wright machine. “He’ll never get out of that Phil. He’s got to come down.” A moment later the aeroplane struck the ground and went into the barn.

Splendid Ground. Compared to the Winnipeg fair grounds, Grand Forks affords a veritable paradise for flying according to Coffyn. Parmelee expressed himself as well pleased with conditions and promised to give North Dakotans all the flying they want to see. He is a likeable fellow, who knows the science of aviation, careful yet daring and an ideal man for North Dakota’s big show. Parmelee said after his flight yesterday that the day was ideal for flying and that he had never been up under more favorable circumstances. He declared that even a brisk wind

Page 5. would not deter him and that he would fly every day with the weather at all favorable. Speaking of his trip with Parmelee, Thomas McGoey, the local bird man, said that the sensation was an enjoyable one and that the Wright man was “as steady as a clock.” Everyone will look forward to Parmelee’s flights today and all will watch with particular interest the second effort of Mr. McGoey. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 26, 1911, Volume XXX, Number 230)

Page 1. Second Day Of Fair A Hummer; Parmelee Gave Two Fine Flights. Today Will Be Big Day. East Grand Forks and Polk County Day Here With Strong Program. Big Crowd Spent Night In City. Every Indication that There Will Be Record Attendance Today. Wind of Yesterday Made it Impossible for Aviator Parmelee to do Any of Stunts for Which He Is Famous – Kenworthy-McGoey Machine Ready But no Attempt Made Because of the Gusty Winds. Yes, the people of North Dakota are flocking to Grand Forks by the thousands. Yesterday was the second day of the state fair and broke all local records for second fair days. The attendance was variously estimated from 10,000 to 15,000 people and was probably nearer the latter figure. The program for the day was an excellent one with the center attraction the two flights by Aviator P. O. Parmelee in the Wright aeroplane. Mr. Parmelee made two flights during the day, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Most of the visitors hardly expected to see the aviator go up with the 35 mile an hour wind blowing in the afternoon but they were not disappointed. In the evening Mr. Parmelee made his second successful flight of the day and found the air conditions very unfavorable, so unfavorable that he advised Thomas McGoey, the local aviator, not to attempt to fly. Mr. McGoey will, therefore, make his initial flight today if the weather is favorable.

Weather Was Bad. Naturally interesting yesterday surrounded the aeroplane flight. There was a high wind during most of the day which rendered conditions on the grounds quite disagreeable with the dust flying in thick clouds. By afternoon the wind had died down somewhat, but there was still a stiff 35-mile an hour wind when the big aeroplane was wheeled out to the west end of the fair grounds. Parmelee made his usual beautiful rise into the air and flew first to the east, he then circled to the south and around to the west and next came toward the grandstand in the teeth of the wind. The aeroplane seemed to barely move against the wind. The aviator did not attempt any fancy stunts and when he reached the ground had some interesting things to tell about the flight. Parmelee modestly admitted that there was only two men flying who would go up in a wind like that of yesterday, Walter Brookins and himself.

Parmelee was in the air in his first flight some 13 minutes and went through the air at a height of about 4,000 feet. The big bi-plane could be plainly seen from the grandstand to rock from side to side and to buck the wind in a way that at times caused the spectators to hold their breath for fear the daring aviator might lose control of his big mechanical bird. But cool and steady as a clock Parmelee brought the machine back to the ground. After the flight he discussed air conditions in an interesting manner and said that yesterday was one of the worst days on which he had ever flown. At one time when he was coming in the teeth of the wind, he had an experience similar to that he has encountered before when a sudden jerk of the big flyer, caused by wind current, threw him out of his seat over a foot and into the wires. He grabbed for the nearest up-right but in a trice, the bi-plane had righted itself and he

Page 2. was again in the teeth of the wind. “It is hard to describe the sensation of flying under conditions so dangerous as those of this afternoon,” said Mr. Parmelee, following the flight. For instance few people realize that a structure such as your grandstand or main building acts to the air currents as a large stone done in the middle of a stream. The air currents come around each side and over the building and on the other side form a regular whirling vortex of atmosphere. Only an experienced aviator can guide his machine under such conditions.” Aviator Parmelee also told of an aviation meeting at Los Angeles when the wind was blowing stronger than yesterday but steadier. Both Brookins and Parmelee were flying and each on coming in front of the grandstand steered his bi-plane in the teeth of the wind. There was no forward motion and there the big machines would stand, beating the air with their propellers, like giant birds hovering over unsuspecting prey.

The aeroplanes, according to Parmelee, seemed able to stay in this position for an indeterminable length of time. Naturally the motor was throttled in the process and when the aviator desired to move along, he would start his engine going at its normal rate and move ahead. Naturally there was some disappointment that conditions were not such that Thomas McGoey, the local aviator, could not fly in his Curtiss model biplane. The flyer was ready for the flight early yesterday afternoon, the damage incurred on Tuesday having been repaired in double quick time. Although the wind had died down considerable in the evening, it came in fitful gusts. After he had made his flight Parmelee told McGoey that the conditions were decidedly unfavorable and advised the local man not to attempt a flight under the conditions. The wind did not die down before darkness came and the flight had to be postponed until today.

“Stunts” Are Coming. In speaking of the exhibitions he is giving here this week, Parmelee said that with (the) right conditions he would give the people of the state something worth seeing in the flying line. His flights on Tuesday were practically the first this season and in a machine that he was not thoroughly familiar with. Now, however, he is familiar with the machine and promises to put on all the “stunts” that are in the repertoire of the experienced aviator. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday Morning, July 27, 1911, Volume XXX, Number 231)

Page 1. Parmelee’s Splendid Work. The feature of the fair was without doubt the thrilling exhibits of

Page 4. aerial navigation by Aviator P. O. Parmelee, the crack man of the Wright squad next to Walter Brookins. Parmelee was generous with his flights and gave the people what they came to see. Winds that on two days of the fair would have daunted a less daring or experienced aviator failed to shake Parmelee and he went up more than once on every day of the fair. Yesterday he gave two splendid flights before packing the aeroplane up. The next stop for Parmelee will be Colorado Springs, Colo., where the aviator will fly next week. From there he will go to Chicago to take part in the big aeroplane meet in the windy city. Thomas McGoey, the local aviator, made another flight yesterday and in the air nearly 15 minutes before he was compelled to alight in a cornfield away to the south of the fair grounds. The landing was effected without damage to the machine. McGoey’s engine stopped when he was fully two hundred feet in the air and under some conditions the landing might have been very dangerous. As it was he was able to pick out a good landing place and came down uninjured. His engine quit cold, on the cylinders becoming overheated. McGoey’s flight, however, was a splendid one from every point of view and was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday Morning, July 30, 1911, Volume XXX, Number 234)

 

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