John Moisant

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Two-man flight across channel, young american aviator surpasses all feats, flying with a passenger from Paris to British coast. Today, he will attempt to win prize by continuing his flight to London[edit]

Deal, England; August 17, 1910. It has been reserved for an American citizen to perform one of the most daring feats in the history of aviation. John B. Moissant, of Chicago, flew across the English channel from Calais to Tilmanstone today with a passenger and by this achievement far surpassed the feats of Bleriot, De Lesseps and the unfortunate English aviator Rolls, who met his death at Bournemouth. The two-man flight from France to England ws more astonishing, for it was only a month ago that Moissant learned to fly and he made so few flights and was so little known among air men that even his nationality was not disclosed. He was reported to be a Spaniard and it was only when he landed in England today that it was revealed that he is a young Chicago architect. To make the feat still more surprising, Moissant was totally ignorant of the geography of his course. He had never been in England and was obliged to rely on the compass while the crossing of the channel was accomplished in the teeth of a strong westerly wind. The channel flight was an incident in the aerial voyage from Paris to London. Moissant left Issy yesterday with Hubert Latham and reached Amiens in two hours. Latham's aeroplane was wrecked and this morning Moissant, leaving Amiens at an early hour, headed for Calais. His mechanician, Albert Fileux, who had accompanied him across the country, took his place in the machine, when the motor was set in motion for the dash across the channel. Spectators Amazed - Thousands who had gathered to watch the daring aviator were amazed and urged him not to make the attempt in the face of a half gale that was blowing. Moissant cared nothing for the warnings of the people and even the fact that there was no torpedo boat to follow in his wake, but only a slow moving tug, did not deter him. He made the trip in thirty-seven minutes. When he descended, his eyes were bloodshot and greatly inflamed as a result of the heavy rain storm into which they drove on approaching the English coast. The high wind beat the rain into the faces of the men like hail and almost blinded them. An average height of between 300 and 400 feet was maintained over the water. The aviator expected to land at Dover but was forced by the wind a few miles north, and made the coast near Deal. The cold was intense and both Moissant and his mechanician were benumbed. Moissant seemed to take his monumental feat as though it were a daily occurrence. When he revived sufficiently he laughed and said to an interviewer: 'This is my first visit to England.' Describing his experiences, he said: 'This is only my sixth flight in an aeroplane. I did not know the way from Paris to Calais when I started and I do not know the way to London. I shall have to rely on the compass. I would like to land in Hyde Park if I can find it.'

  • Source: Daily Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee; August 17, 1910
  • Note: Transcribed by Bob Davis on September 02, 2003

Chattanooga's Aviation Meet Begins Today[edit]

Chattanooga, Tennessee; November 27, 1910 - The first aviation tournament ever held in this city will start tomorrow afternoon and continue for the following two days, with John B. Moisant, Charles K. Hamilton, Roland G. Garros, Rene Simon, Rene Barrier, John J. Frisbie, and Joseph M. Seymour entered with ten aeroplanes of five different types, These machines include four different Bleriot monoplanes, a Demoiselle monoplane (the smallest heavier-than-air flying machine in the world) , a Hamiltonian biplane, a Rochester biplane, a Seymour-Curtiss biplane, and two Moisant modifications of the present Bleriot. The program for the three days' meet includes speed, altitude, distance, duration and cross-country flying. There will also be a race every day between an aeroplane and an automobile. Garros, in his Demoiselle, will at times appear against a local motorist, and Charles K. Hamilton will every afternoon of the meet race his 110 horsepower Fiat Vanderbilt cup racer, the distance for two of the days to be five miles and the third day to be ten miles.

  • Source: Daily Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee; November 28, 1910
  • Note: Transcribed by Bob Davis on November 18, 2003
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).