Archibald Hoxsey

Arch Hoxsey In Accident. Daring Aviator Who Will Appear in Grand Forks Has Bad Fall. But He Has Recovered and Will Be on Deck – Judge Fisk’s Friends Are Beginning to Wonder if, Under the Circumstances the Portly Judge Will Take the Proposed Trip in the Aeroplane. The many friends of Judge C. J. Fisk, of the supreme court, are wondering if the Judge will really take advantage of the special invitation offered him to take a ride in the Wright Brothers’ aeroplane at the Grand Forks fair next week. Genuine alarm is felt in some quarters by special friends of the judge, who fear something might happen. The more timid have not been given any great cause for comfort since reports from the United States and abroad have recorded at least a dozen serious aeroplane disasters in the past two weeks.

While the Wright machine is considered the most perfect today, a Wright aviator met with a fatal accident in England only yesterday. Furthermore Secretary Bacheller has received a letter from T. P. Jackson, the Wright Brothers’ representative who made arrangements for the Grand Forks engagement, to the effect that Mr. Arch Hoxsey, the aviator who is to handle the machine here, had a bad accident in Pittsburg only last week. Mr. Hoxsey’s motor stopped while the machine was 400 feet in the air, and machine and aviator came to the ground with serious injury to both. Mr. Hoxsey has recovered though, and is flying again and looking forward to being the whole works at the Grand Forks fair. Judge Fisk, however, will be in Grand Forks for the fair and ready to take his offered trip to the clouds. Mr. Fish, who might naturally be expected to enter objections to the invitation issued by the Wright Brothers, is willing that the judge take the trip if he so desires.

No special feature ever offered the people of North Dakota has caused so much interest as the promised appearance of the Wright Brothers’ aeroplane. There are on file in the fair office letters from individuals asking what days the machine will fly and asking personal assurance that it will actually be here as advertised. The contract calls for a flight every day and except in case of the most adverse conditions the flights will be made during the afternoon or early evening when conditions are best. Very strong wind offers and interference, but in view of the fact that the wind generally goes down during the last afternoon, it is believed that there will be no difficulty in making flights regularly each day. The aeroplane requires some wind to work to advantage as the start is made into the wind. The larger portions of the sustaining power is furnished by the air currents themselves and the engine and propellers carry the machine about at the direction of the aviator. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 13, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 217, Page 8).

Arch Hoxsey The Aviator Is On Deck. The Man-Bird Is Prepared to Give Grand Forks People a Thrill. Aeroplane Feature Is Attracting Hundreds of People to Grand Forks. Successful Aviator Talks Enthusiastically of His Business – Tells of a Recent Accident While Flying in Kansas – Is Here to Deliver the Goods – Machine Used Here Is One Holding Altitude Record. Now if the weather man will please be good the people of Grand Forks and those from other parts of the state who will attend the Grand Forks fair will have the privilege of seeing an aeroplane in action, a chance to witness an experienced aviator at work, to hold their breaths and feel the cold chills run down their spines as he rises high in the air and wheels and circles there or swoops hawk-like to a lower strata of air and there may even be a chance for the ladies to express their feelings in little gasps of fright or shrieks of excitement lest the man-bird be dashed to the earth and hurt or killed.

But when they see Arch Hoxsey making preparations for his flight they cannot help but feel that he knows his business, that he is acquainted with the craft he operates and fully competent to meet and overcome the usual difficulties met by the aviator. Hoxsey gives the impression of a man who is not only filled with enthusiasm for his business but is at the same time the kind of a man endowed by nature with the temperament necessary to succeed. He gives the idea of a man who would use every caution to see that things were in their proper place before attempting a flight, but once in the air would have all the nerve and daring to give the spectators the thrills for which they came.

Hoxsey the Aviator. Hoxsey is a tall, slender, unmarried young man of 25 years whose home is in Pasadena, Cal. For several years he had been an enthusiastic sportsman. His was the first motorcycle on the Pacific coast and he became a daring and resourceful rider. He also took up motoring and owned a car that was capable of a speed of 107 miles per hour and actually drove it in an exhibition event at the rate of 89 miles per hour. In 1905 he became interested in the attempts to conquer the air and commenced the building of a dirigible balloon, using the same aerodrome as Roy Knabenshue, who was at that time building his dirigible. He built his balloon at Los Angeles and it was his plan to make a flight from Los Angeles to Pasadena on Jan. 1, during the carnival of roses and to shower roses down upon the people from his balloon. Weather conditions did not permit a flight until Jan. 3 and then he confined himself to flights around Los Angeles. Early last spring Mr. Hoxsey became a convert to the heavier-than-air machine and went to Montgomery, Ala., to take instruction in the art of flying a Wright machine. He made two flights with Orville Wright and later, when Wright had gone north, took further instruction from Walter Brookins. He has given successful exhibitions at Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburg, Kansas and other points.

Had an Accident. A few days ago at Pittsburg, Kan., Mr. Hoxsey met with an accident from which he fortunately escaped with a few minor bruises but which so badly damaged the aeroplane that it had to be sent back to the factory for repairs, due to which fact the Wright people were compelled to express a machine from Atlantic City to Grand Forks at an expense of more than $600 in order not to disappoint the people here. The machine now on the fair grounds is the one with which Walter Brookins broke all altitude records by rising to the height of 6,200 feet at Atlantic City recently. The accident referred to at Pittsburg, Kan., occurred while Mr. Hoxsey was giving his third day’s exhibition there. He had made thirteen successful flights and for the fourteenth started out to try for a high altitude. When about 300 feet above the earth his motor stopped. He was at the time headed toward the grandstand, which was filled with people and he feared he would not be able to go over the stand and alight on the further side. He determined to make a circle and threw his lever for that purpose but when he had turned sufficiently to give him a clear field for alighting he found that the lever had stuck and he had to continue circling. In doing so another crisis arose. The course he was thus compelled to take would have thrown his machine at high speed into the bleachers with the possibility of killing a number of people. It looked like a smash for the machine and possibly serious injury for himself, at any rate, so Hoxsey took the chance that least endangered the spectators and when at a height of about 50 feet dove straight to the earth. His machine struck the earth with considerable force but fortunately in such a position that the aviator was thrown between the planes and his fall broken by contact with them before striking the ground. Hoxsey escaped with a few bruises, none of them serious in their nature, but the machine was badly wrecked.

How He Felt. “No, I didn’t think of my past or my future,” said the aviator in response to a question, “I thought of the best way to get to the earth. Really my first thought was that I might break the aeroplane and I felt a deep regret that this should happen at the close of such a successful meet; then when the lever locked my mind turned to the danger of injuring the people and I ceased to consider what might happen to myself or the aeroplane.” When asked about the effect of weather conditions the aviator said, “Still weather is the best for good flying; when the air is still or the breezes very light the aeroplane is easier to control and it is possible to do more maneuvering. It is difficult to make a satisfactory flight when the wind is above 15 miles an hour, but we often make an attempt rather than disappoint the people. It follows as a matter of course that the aeroplane is quite sensitive to varying air currents and in a strong wind will make leeway much in the same manner as a boat does in a heavy wind and in allowing for this it becomes more difficult to maneuver. When conditions are favorable our program includes flying in a figure eight, ‘roller coasting,’ in which we rise to a considerable height and then swoop earthwards and rise again much along the line of motion of the scenic railway.”

Not in Bunco Game. “One thing you can assure your readers,” continued the aviator, “and that is that the Wright people have never indulged in the bunco game. They have never asked for help in the experimental stage of their business but invested their own money and spent their time in mastering the art of flying. They are on the same basis yet and will deliver the goods if it is possible to fly. I shall make every effort to avoid disappointing the people here. The flights will be made as scheduled unless it is absolutely impossible to make them. If conditions are right I expect some time during the fair to make a high altitude flight and while I may not break any records I will go a great deal higher than the people here expect to see me go – quite high enough to fully satisfy them.” Yesterday afternoon preparations were being made for the aeroplane flights. The starting rail is laid east and west inside the race track enclosure and just beyond the judges’ stand. The start of the flight will be in plain view from the grandstand and all the main flights will be over the race track enclosure where they can be seen to best advantage. Mr. Hoxsey secured several assistants to aid him in assembling the aeroplane which, in order to pack in an express car came partly knocked down. It will be all ready for the first flight which is scheduled to take place about 2:30 in the afternoon.

The Wright Machine. The aeroplane is constructed of spruce framework covered with muslin. The propeller blade is made of laminated spruce and is eight and a half feet in length. It is about a foot in width, tapering to the hub. Each blade of the propeller weighs about eight pounds. It is the propeller that pushes the machine forward through the air and works at the rate of about 350 revolutions a minute. In actual weight, the machine tips the beam at about 1,000 pounds. It measures forty feet from tip to tip while the distance from the tail to the extreme front is about thirty-five feet. The planes are each the length of the width of the machine and are six and one-half feet wide. They are parallel with each other, being six feet apart. Between the planes the aviator sits. He occupies a seat in a manner similar to that assumed by the driver of an automobile.

Controlling the Aeroplane. The Wright aeroplane is controlled by two levers, the one at the aviator’s left hand being used to control the altitude and the one on the right hand for warping the wings in balancing and in making curves. The Wright machine has features about it which make it capable of more spectacular manipulation than any other. For instance, the wings, the planes, of the Wright machine, are warped, that is they are made with a certain amount of curvature which allows of short turns being made. By means of this curvature the machine can be tilted when a turn is made and in this tilting the secret of a short rapid turn in the air lies. In fact the Wright machine assumes nearly a vertical position when a short turn is made. The aviator is then sitting with his back nearly parallel to the surface of the earth, and the planes of the machine are nearly perpendicular. The machine which will be seen in motion here today is equipped with a 25 horse power engine and runs at a speed of about 42 miles per hour. It has a great lifting capacity and will carry two people besides the aviator. Mr. Hoxsey expects to take a passenger with him on a flight some time during the fair and already has had many applications presented to him. He states, however, that he will make his own selection of a passenger. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, July 19, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 222, Page 6)


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