They Came for the Weather

By lex, on February 11th, 2011

And stayed for the hot tubs:

The brilliant businessman who sold the Navy its first airplane had tried to launch his flying business in rural New York state. But winters there are less than ideal for planes that land on water.

Looking west, Glenn Curtiss found San Diego, with its protected bay and pleasant temperatures.

In 1911, Curtiss got a lease at North Island. Little more than jack rabbits at the time, the island would become the birthplace of naval aviation.

And, in the following century, San Diego supplied the heartbeat of Navy flying. The nation’s first aircraft carrier came here; aerial fighting doctrine was born here; hundreds of Navy pilots learned and honed their craft here through World Wars I and II.

Big celebration this weekend in Sandy Eggo – a 200-plane flyby from the Coronado Bay bridge up through the channel abeam NAS North Island for the Centennial of Naval Aviation. Getting aboard the air station to view the machines – which include war birds from generations past  up through front line fighters – may well be a goat rope. Your correspondent has not quite decided how he will pass his time Saturday, but it may be on Shelter Island.

They serve beverages there, on Shelter Island.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, History, Lex, Naval Aviation, Naval History

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