Grand Forks 1910 Fair Day 1

Page 1. Thousands Delighted By Successful Aeroplane Flight. Hoxsey Showed Great Skill. His Performance with the Wright Biplane was a Remarkable One. Aeroplane Under Absolute Control. Graceful and Thrilling Maneuvers During Sixteen Minute Flight. Ran Off the Monorail Track During First Attempt to Start – Cut Figure Eight, Flew in Short Circles and Rose High in Air with Ease – Modestly Refused to Answer the Calls Made for a Speech. We have seen the dreams of Darius Green fulfilled – witnessed a man moving through the air with a poise and control equaling the flight of the birds so long envied by men. Those who attended the Grand Forks fair had a rare treat yesterday. Not only had they an opportunity to spend a pleasant and profitable day studying the fine exhibits in every department of the fair, attending the good, clean shows along the Merry Midway, enjoying some interesting horse races but they were treated to an exceptionally fine exhibit in the art of aviation. Arch Hoxsey and his Wright aeroplane certainly made good and more than fulfilled all the promises made and the people who watched with admiration and awe his graceful and thrilling maneuvers will never forget the experience. To most of those who watched the flight it was an entirely new thing. Yesterday’s performance was the first of the kind in North Dakota and there were hundreds who came to the fair mainly to see a demonstration of man’s ability to fly.

Many Were Skeptical. Skeptics were everywhere before the flight was made and many were loud in the prophecies that the whole thing would be a fizzle and that there would be no flight. Others filled with hope but bothered with some doubts watched the shelter tent at the east end of the grandstand with an interest that was heightened by the mystery in the air as to what was going on inside. What was really happening within was the assembling of the aeroplane, which was shipped here in a partly knocked down condition. Mr. Hoxsey also spent a lot of time in the early part of the afternoon going over every part of the machine with great care to see that every part was working right, that all the stays and braces were snug and everything shipshape. Greeted With Cheers. The monorail starting track had been laid from the inside fence in a northwesterly direction so that the aeroplane could start directly against the wind, this being the start preferred by all aviators. A short time before the end of the big tent was opened to permit the exit of the big flyer. Mr. Hoxsey started his engines, as he always does before taking the machine out, to see if they were working right. As a sound like a fusillade of pistol shots came from the tent the people in front of it scattered right and left as though they expected the aeroplane to come out through the tent without awaiting the formality of opening it up. When, shortly after three o’clock the tent was thrown open and the biplane pushed out the people turned from watching the horses and gave a mighty cheer. Few took their eyes off the aviator and his craft while it was being placed on the rail ready for the start.

Ran Off the Track. As the final preparations were made there was a hush. Everybody watched Hoxsey as he tested his levers and went around the machine to see that nothing had been overlooked. When he supplied himself with a liberal chew of gum a ripple of laughter broke out but everything became quiet and there was an apparent tensity of feeling as the helpers turned the big propellers and the engines began to bark in regular rhythm. Hoxsey climbed into his seat; the speed of the engines increased until their exhaust and the beat of the propellers on the air made a roar; the helpers let go; the aviator touched a lever and the big machine moved off with the speed of an express train but before reaching the end of the track ran off the rail. Hoxsey at once stopped the engine and the machine was pushed back for another start. While Hoxsey again looked over his machine the fourth heat of the three minute pace was pulled off but it is safe to say that hundreds let it pass with merely a fleeting glance. Story of the Flight. Again the engines were started and once more the big biplane sped along the track and before reaching the end of it rose smoothly and gracefully into the air and it was then that the audience took a big breath and gave vent to a great cheer. Higher and

Page 6. higher the aeroplane rose, wheeling away to the west ward, then swung back with a sharp turn to the north rising higher every second. When over the north side of the race track the machine was about 75 feet above the earth; another swing to the right in which the frail looking craft was tilted over until Hoxsey appeared to be hanging out into space and there were those who gave little gasps of alarm, thinking that the aviator was in danger of falling. Rushing over the east end of the track at a speed of more than 40 miles per hour the aviator again turned and rose high over the judges stand, waving responses to the cheering of the crowds. Then followed swings and circles in such rapid succession that detailed description would be difficult. Back and forth across the race grounds went the aeroplane, now swinging around in a figure eight, now rising high in the air and swooping earthward like a hawk in pursuit of his prey, now riding smoothly and swiftly past the grandstand on an even keel, if we may use a term from the sailor’s vocabulary, now rising and falling in graceful curves, similar to the roller coaster or the scenic railway, swaying, swooping, sending thrills through every fiber of the spectator’s being but always graceful, interesting and pleasing to the eye.

Up 300 Feet in Air. On one turn around to the north side of the track Hoxsey swung low down over the heads of the people sitting in carriages and automobiles there and then as though to negative the fears of the watching crowd that he might have lost control of his aerial craft, the aviator rose swiftly to a height of about 300 feet, high enough so that he appeared like a small boy. Then with a succession of long circles he came lower and lower, skimming along the surface of the earth, rising on the turns and finally stopping his engine and dropping easily and lightly down to the earth in the center of the field. Lasted Sixteen Minutes. The flight from the time the aeroplane rose from the end of the starting track until the runners gently touched the earth lasted just 16 minutes and the cheering which greeted the daring navigator of the air lasted about as long. Loud and insistent were the calls for a speech. “Tell us about it” they called to Hoxsey but that quiet, young man modestly declined to stand any longer in the public eye and busied himself directing his assistants in the work of putting the aeroplane back in the shelter tent. As soon as it was in place the tent was opened to the public and hundreds paid the small admission price to see the Wright machine and the man-bird.

Further Thrills Promised. Everybody is talking of the success of the aeroplane flight of yesterday, but Arch Hoxsey says that he has many more maneuvers on his program and with favorable weather will treat the fair visitors to still further thrills. One of the things calculated to make the spectator hold his breath and wonder what is about to happen is the “high dive,” in which Mr. Hoxsey will fly to a great height and then dive with the swiftness of an arrow toward the earth, only changing his court upward again in time to avoid actual collision with terra firma. Sometime during his engagement here Mr. Hoxsey intends to make a high altitude flight and will rise so high in the air that he and his big machine will appear like a mere speck in the sky. On the last day of the fair Hoxsey is prepared to race with an automobile or a swift running horse and either on that day, or with very favorable conditions at an earlier date, make a flight with a passenger. Crowd Will Be Larger. Today Hoxsey will make another flight and will vary his program. Yesterday he delighted ten thousand people and when those who saw the flight have spread the enthusiasm they carried away with them, it is very probable that not less than fifteen to eighteen thousand people will be on hand to witness the flight today. And they will get their money’s worth and more, too, for even the doubters are convinced that the Wright people and their gentlemanly aviator, Arch Hoxsey, are able and anxious to deliver the goods. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 20, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 223)

Comments Made by Those Who Saw Hoxsey Aviate. Con T. Kennedy, of the Parker shows, who carries with him a Curtiss biplane, said: “I was at the Los Angeles meet last winter and I want to say that the people of Grand Forks have had a rare treat this afternoon. Hoxsey’s flight here was the best controlled exhibition I have yet seen. It was a great flight and it is no wonder the people were enthusiastic about it.” Herman Q. Smith, publicity man for the Parker shows, has ruined several suits of clothes climbing around, in, through and under aeroplanes of various sorts and is an enthusiast when it comes to aviation. After yesterday’s flight he said: “Adjectives fail to do justice to Hoxsey’s work this afternoon. It is the best I have ever seen.” George B. Winship of The Herald, said after the aeroplane flight yesterday, “It was a better exhibition than any I saw at the aviation meet in Los Angeles last winter.” D. L. Campbell, editor of the Northwood Gleaner, was a fair visitor yesterday and while the wind was high was worrying for fear the aeroplane flight would be impossible. When Aviator Hoxsey had made his splendid flight, Mr. Campbell said: “That was fine; worth coming many miles to see.”

It would be impossible to catalogue all the complimentary things said in reference to the aeroplane flight yesterday afternoon. On every side were heard exclamations of delight, surprise and praise for the performance of the Wright machine and for the skill of Aviator Hoxsey. “Fine,” “Grand,” “Worth ten times the price of admission,” were some of the remarks most frequently heard. C. T. Burnstad, of Burnstad, Logan county, N. D., is an enthusiastic horseman and paid his compliment to the aeroplane flight in this manner: “Wonderful! Beats all the horses I ever saw.” R. F. Kingman, of Hillsboro, expressed himself with much enthusiasm in regard to the aeroplane flight yesterday. But at that he was unable to add anything to the words of praise heard on all sides when the aviator was circling high in the air, rising and dipping toward the earth, wheeling easily and gracefully in a way that made most of us wish we were passengers. Supt. N. C. McDonald, who is teaching in the university summer school, speaking of the aeroplane flight, said: “This was the sixth exhibition of aviation I have seen. Last year, while in Europe, I saw flights made in England, France and Germany with monoplanes, biplanes and triplanes, where they were striving for speed and for fancy touches. A great many machines were entered in the international exhibit near London last fall, but today’s flight was the best I have seen. The remarkable thing about it was the perfect control of the machine by Mr. Hoxsey. I enjoyed every second of the whole sixteen minutes.” (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 20, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 223, Page 1)

The Flying Exhibition. The flying act performed by Aviator Hoxsey at the Grand Forks fair yesterday afternoon was the most beautiful, interesting and thrilling exhibition ever seen at any northwestern fair, and the management that provided it, the people who witnessed it, and the operator who guided the machine are alike to be congratulated. The strong wind that had prevailed earlier in the day, prompted fears that it might be impossible to make a flight that day, but the wind died down to a moderate breeze, the big and rather awkward looking machine was brought out, and the start was made. And then, in spite of all that they have heard and read, a good many people were actually convinced for the first time that the thing could really fly. Up and up it soared, round and round the course it went, doubling and twisting, swooping with the gracefulness of a hawk, and after skimming the earth like a swallow, mounting aloft again, cutting figures of eight, tilting now almost to a perpendicular on this side, and in a moment reversing the tilt to the other, the throb of the engines becoming a blur of sound, and the aviator, secure in his seat, and confident in his ability to guide his course, waved his hand at the spectators and swept onward again. Never before outside of the great aviation meets at the big cities has anything like it been seen, and never, even there, in the opinion of many who have seen those meets, has more graceful flying been seen, or more perfect control of the machine.

The exhibition was a revelation in what may be done in man’s control of the air. Aside from the interest in the mere fact that a man can fly this exhibition surpasses all other entertainment features in that it lasts long enough, Mr. Hoxsey being in the air about a quarter of an hour, to permit every person on the grounds to enjoy the spectacle to the full. It differs materially in this respect from those thrillers which are over in an instant, and which leave half the spectators wondering what has happened after all. We do not expect to see more graceful flying on the remaining days of the fair, for that seems impossible, but other features of great interest are promised. The aviator will on one of his flights take a passenger with him, and on another he will ascend into the far upper realms in an exhibition of high flying. No one who saw this feature yesterday would have missed it for many times the price of a season ticket to the entire fair. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, July 20, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 223, Page 4)

 

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