• Celebrating a Century of Flight in Wisconsin

    Posted on November 1st, 2009 John Dorcey 1 comment

    While firsts happen every day, becoming the first to fly an airplane in a state, while making your first solo on that same flight, is noteworthy. Being the first person to buy an airplane and the 11th person to fly in this country makes the story even more remarkable.  All that happened on November 4, 1909 in Beloit, Wisconsin.

    Those aviation firsts are just some of the many firsts that Arthur Pratt Warner  experienced during his long and storied life. Those firsts, the man, and the 100-years of Wisconsin aviation history since are what the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) will be celebrating in Beloit during the next few days.

    Centennial of Flight exhibit and Warner-Curtiss model

    Commemoration of Warner’s flight begins at 9:00 AM at the Morgan Elementary School, 1811 Lee Lane (adjacent to Highway 81), on Beloit’s east side. The school sits on the original Morgan farm, site of Warner’s first flights. Weather allowing, festivities include a reenactment of Warner’s flight and a flyover by Wisconsin Air National Guard aircraft. A one-quarter scale replica of Warner’s aircraft and a Centennial of Flight display will be available for public viewing in the school’s gymnasium until 1:00 PM.

    Wednesday festivities continue at the Beloit Historical Society’s Lincoln Center, 845 Hackett Street, at 5:00 PM. Wisconsin historian and WAHF board member Michael Goc will present “A. P. Warner, an Appreciation.” WAHF will then present the Warner-Curtiss model, on long-term loan, to the Beloit Historical Society. Recognition of EAA Chapter 60 Beloit-Janesville, builders of the model, will follow. Refreshments available following the presentations.

    Smithsonian Senior Curator, Dr. Tom Crouch, will present “Aviation in 1909 and Wisconsin’s AP Warner” on Saturday, November 7. The presentation will take place in Eaton Chapel on the Beloit College campus beginning at 3:00 PM. A reception will follow the presentation.

    There is no charge for these events and the public is encouraged to participate.


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