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The first successful heavier-than-air flight was made by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.

World War I provided an opportunity for the development of better airplanes, initially for reconnaissance and later for more directly military purposes.

The federal government became involved in domestic aviation after World War I. Even a strong conservative like President Harding knew the need. Soon after taking office, he said:

It has become a pressing duty of the federal government to provide for the regulation of air navigation; otherwise, independent and conflicting legislation will be enacted by the various states which will hamper the development of aviation. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in a special report on this subject, has recommended the establishment of a Bureau of Aeronautics in the Department of Commerce for the federal regulation of air navigation, which recommendation ought to have legislative approval.

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Aviation in San Diego by Katrina Pescador, Alan Renga, San Diego Air and Space Museum.
For nearly a century, San Diego has been a hub of aviation development, air power, and flying adventure. The city’s ideal weather and protected bay al...
Aviation in Southern Oregon by Bill Alley, Southern Oregon Historical Society.
Medford, Oregon, pioneered aviation in Southern Oregon and has long enjoyed a reputation for being an air-minded city. When the City of Medford built ...
Aviation in Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma by Kim Jones.
Early balloonists, called aeronauts, traveled across Oklahoma from fair to festival to exhibit their feats of derring-do. Some parachuted from their b...
Boeing Field by Cory Graff.
Even before there were runways, the area south of the city of Seattle was Washington’s aviation hub. Charles Hamilton, a daredevil dubbed “Crazy Man o...
Chicago: City of Flight by Jim Edwards, Wynette Edwards.
Since the late 1800s, Chicago has been a mecca for aviation. Chicago`s Octave Chanute kept the skies filled with revolutionary gliders and his experti...
Curtiss-Wright by Kirk W. House.
The oldest names in aviation joined forces in 1929, when Wright Aeronautical and Curtiss Aeroplane formed the giant Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Curtis...
Dallas Aviation by Bruce A. Bleakley.
Since Otto Brodie`s airplane flight at Fair Park in 1910, the city of Dallas has seen over 100 years of rich and diverse aviation activity. Many of th...
Eastern Iowa`s Aviation Heritage by Scott M. Fisher.
Iowans embraced aviation from its very beginning. In the late 1800s, Keokuk`s Baldwin brothers headlined Lee County Chautauqua festivals with balloon ...