Yesterday Was Biggest and Best Day of Successful Fair. Thousands Delighted by Two Flights of the Aeroplane. Hoxsey Took A Passenger. Frank V. Kent, City Postmaster, Given a Flight in the Evening. Two Fine Flights Made Yesterday. In Spite of Stiff Breeze Afternoon Flight Laster 20 Minutes. Postmaster Kent is Enthusiastic About the Delights of Flying – Many Who Sailed the Sea for Many Years is Anxious at Seventy to Try the Aeroplane – Some Big Thrillers Scheduled For Today. The thousands who thronged to the fair grounds yesterday to see Arch Hoxsey fly were not disappointed. It is not Hoxsey’s way of doing things. It is not the Wright way. There were many who feared that the wind might be too high for flying but although it was pretty strong Hoxsey maintained his reputation for making good and made another of is amazing flights in the afternoon. For good measure he made a sensational flight in the evening, carrying Frank V. Kent as a passenger. More than twenty thousand people were gathered to see the afternoon flight and although they were interested in the racing program and the specialty acts between the heats there was a good deal of anxiety over the condition of the wind, many fearing that the wind would get too high for a flight and there was a feeling of much relief and satisfaction when the aeroplane was wheeled across the race track from the shelter tent at 3:30. In but a few minutes the biplane was ready to take advantage of a lull in the wind to start the afternoon flight but the harness horses were scoring and the flight was postponed until the heat was finished.
Made a Fine Start. Everything was in readiness when the horses flashed under the wire after a spirited race, the assistants gave a pull at the propeller blades and the engines responded with a few spasmodic coughs increasing to a roar as the engines took up their regular rhythm. The aviator climbed into his seat let the engines take their full speed, pressed his levers and was off. There was not a false move. The big aeroplane rose quickly before reaching the end of the track and rising quickly to a height of about 75 feet, Hoxsey treated the crowd to a series of maneuvers which were all the more interesting because it was apparent that they were performed under difficulties. Fitful gusts caused the machine to drift and tilt from side to side and yet the skillful aviator wheeled and dipped, rose and fell, swept swiftly down the wind to swing in short, sharp circles, cut the figure eight and then rising higher dip swiftly down close to the earth. Once he flew straight away to the north and when over the low ground beyond the fence dipped down so swiftly that the interested spectators involuntarily gave vent to their fear that some accident had befallen by a chorus of exclamations. But Hoxsey had not fallen. He rose swiftly and came speeding back at a terrific rate and when he had been in the air for about ten minutes began to mount higher and higher until at about 1,200 feet above the earth he was sailing smoothly in the clear sunlight while the spectators sat in the shadow of a big cloud in the western sky. It was a pretty sight to see Hoxsey swinging back and forth in the upper air, the sunlight glinting from
Page 5. the polished frame of the biplane and because the wind carried away the sound of the engines moving noiselessly back and forth. Finally he swept down in a series of speedy rushes and swoops, turned so sharply that one woman was heard to exclaim, “Gracious! He has tipped over!” and just twenty minutes after he left the ground, he returned to it. On account of the gusty wind the landing was not so smooth as some of the former ones. The runners struck the ground with quite a little force but the forward movement saved the machine and rider from serious jar. The flight lasted twenty minutes. At one time in his afternoon flight Hoxsey flew away to the northeast and rounded to apparently above the river and in coming back raised a flock of blackbirds. The feathered aviators scattered away from the course of the aeroplane and there was much speculation on the part of those who noticed the little side issue as to what impression might have been received by the birds.
The Evening Flight. Although the Wright contract calls for only one flight of ten minutes’ duration each day, Hoxsey allowed the officials to announce that he would, if possible make another flight in the evening, and would, in that event, take up a passenger. It was also announced that Frank V. Kent was the lucky man who had been invited to take a ride, the first man to travel as a passenger in an aeroplane in North Dakota. By reason of the announcement there was an exceptionally large attendance in the evening. Again the grandstands were filled and the fences lined with people drawn by their deep interest in aviation. It looked for a time as though they might be disappointed. The aeroplane was brought out of the shelter tent at 7:50, but when the engines were started it was apparent that they were out of tune, and after a few irregular explosions, they stopped. Hoxsey took off his coat and started in to find the trouble and spent exactly an hour tinkering with them before he obtained the desired results. In the meantime the crowd was entertained by exhibitions of rope throwing by members of the McKinney-Tubbs company’s cowboys, Miss McKinney exhibited the horse that waltzes and two-steps, and the regular specialty acts were given on the stage across the track in front of the grandstand.
Story of the Flight. At 8:50 the engines started with a sound that meant business. Postmaster Kent climbed into the right hand seat of the machine and the aviator into the left, and the aeroplane got away in a beautiful start that brought forth a rousing cheer. No attempt was made to rise very high. Most of the maneuvers were performed at a height of about 75 or 100 feet, but several times Hoxsey mounted to about 150 feet to gain additional momentum for circling and roller coasting. Whenever they passed near the grandstand the audience cheered to the limit of their lungs. The air was almost without movement, the engines worked perfectly and there was perceptible diminution in the speed of the machine because of the extra load. The aeroplane traveled at a high rate of speed and once as Hoxsey dove so low beyond the crowds that banked the north fence that only the upper work of the biplane could be seen from a position near the grandstand, it was easier to get an idea of the speed by mentally comparing it with the passing of a fast train. Those in charge of the searchlights had been warned not to throw the light upon the aeroplane when it was coming toward the grandstand, as the light would bother the aviator. However, the light was frequently thrown on the machine as it wheeled away from the stand and in the gathering dusk the contrast accentuated the beauty of the picture. After a flight of nine minutes Hoxsey shut off the engines and made a landing that was perfect in every way.
Clamored for a Speech. Immediately after the flight Aviator Hoxsey and his delighted passenger were taken to the amusement stage near the judge’s stand to respond to insistent clamor for a speech. President F. L. Goodman made a short speech in which he referred to Hoxsey as “the man who had taken Postmaster Kent nearer to heaven than he had ever been before or might be again.” After this jest at his expense the megaphone was handed to Kent, who said in part: “I want to say, good people, that the experience I have just had is one of the pleasantest I have ever experienced. Talk about joy-rides! This beats anything I have ever seen a hundred ways. I enjoyed the ride so much that next year it may not be necessary to have Mr. Hoxsey come here. I have not a very strong desire to have an aeroplane of my own.”
Kent Interviewed. Mr. Kent was asked by a reporter if he felt any nervousness when in the air and said that he had not. He added that the motion of the aeroplane was so smooth that the only sensation was one of delight. At this point Hoxsey remarked, “Mr. Kent certainly was not nervous; you will notice that he did not let his cigar go out during the trip and he talked to me during the entire flight, and among other things told me to go through the usual program as it would not worry him.” Answering another question, Mr. Kent said that there was a peculiar sensation about the downward swoops in the roller coaster stunt and in the tilt of the machine in the short circles and likened it to the sudden downward movement of an electric elevator or to the dip of the cars on the scenic railway. But Mr. Kent liked the feeling, liked the whole performance, wants to go again and advised his friends to go up if they ever get a good chance with a man like Hoxsey.
Sea Captain Enthusiastic. The enthusiasm is not confined to the lucky man who was given a taste of transportation through the air. It would not be hard for Hoxsey to find many others who would gladly accept an invitation to go up in the air. Perhaps there was no one on the grounds yesterday more enthusiastic than Capt. C. V. Small, of Harwick, Mass., who is spending the summer visiting his son-in-law, A. L. Woods. Capt. Small is 70 years old, has spent his life on the sea, has made eight trips around the world, has rounded the Cape Horn 37 times and has had thrills of various kinds in the dangers and delights of the sea. But here he saw a game this (that) filled him with a longing to participate in and he said, “I would give $50 to be up in the air five minutes with Hoxsey.”
Program Tomorrow. Last night almost everybody in the city was talking about aviation and thousands are going out to the fair grounds again today to see what promises to be a whirlwind finish to Hoxsey’s splendid four-day program. It is likely that the aviator will make two flights again tomorrow. In one of these, if conditions are ideal, he will make a high flight and go through his whole program of maneuvering and in the other will race five miles with a high power Rambler automobile. This will certainly be a thriller that will be a fitting climax to a most successful program. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday Morning, July 22, 1910, Volume XXIX, Number 225)