Rarely populated, as can be seen from the once thin spread of country houses, Long Island, still in its nascent state, was a forest carpet, but a single central clearing, the largest east of the Mississippi River, stood as an oasis in the desert and serves as spawning ground. It was called the "Hampstead Plains." Almost destined as a threshold to the air, its flat, unobstructed spaces called for flight, providing space for experiments with aircraft, flying fields and pilot schools, an area where vehicles spread their wings and rise from the womb that incubated them, chasing them an ascending path that will one day darken the atmosphere and connect the planet to its moon.
Located on the eastern edge of the country, a dividing line pointing only transcontinental to the west or transatlantic to the European continent, the area adjacent to New York, the most populous city in the world, serves only to geographically cement this aviation base,
Glenn Hammond Curtiss, the first to triumph over Long Island with his Golden Flyer biplane, won the American Scientific Trophy after flying a 25-kilometer Mineola flight on July 17, 1909, attracting other aviation-inspired people and the first commercial airline buyer.
Stormy aviation interest and experimentation, quickly eclipsing the confines of the tiny field, led to the creation of the nearby Hempstead Plains Airport, whose nearly 1,000-acre grounds had 25 wooden hangars and stands before the summer of 1911. The Moissant School, the country's first civic institution , was opened with a fleet of seven Bleriot monoplanes operating from five structures. He subsequently issued the first female pilot's license to Harriet Quimbi.
Long Island Aviation Soil Avoiding As Much Grass provided the scene for the first international aviation meeting of the year at Belmont Park in Elmont, attracting both pilots from the US and Europe who competed and set speed and performance records with an ever-expanding collection of early designs, while Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn served as the origin of the first transcontinental flight manned by the Calbright Rogers designed with the EX Vin Fiz biplane on September 17, 1911 in San Diego, CA. her 49 days later, despite a dizzying array of stopping environment and reconstruction of the frame requiring crashes.
The first U.S. Air Mail route, though a short, temporary, six-mile stretch from Garden City to Mineola on a Bleriot plane, also happened that year.
Taking over the military role, Hempstead Plains Airfield provided the pilot training ground for the National Guard in New York in 1915, and two years later became one of only two U.S. Army flights with a fleet of four Curtiss JN- 4 Jenny planes. It was also the year when the Hazelhurst Field was redesigned, in honor of an Army pilot who lost his life in a plane crash.
To meet the increased demand for Army pilot training, Field # 2 was created south of existing Hazelhurst Airport in 1917 and was later renamed Mitchell Field in July the following year, after then-Mayor of New York John Perry Mitchell.
The first scheduled scheduled airmail service, originated in May 1918 from Washington to Belmont Park with Curtis Janice, paved the way for the first transatlantic, four-engine, trans-Atlantic crossing from Long Island to Portugal the following year. amphibious Curtiss NC flying boats, only one of which eventually reached the European continent after two intermediate stops in Newfoundland and the Azores.
The roots of many Long Island aircraft manufacturers were planted during World War I.
The "golden age of aviation", linked to multiple records of speed, distance and altitude, resulted in two well-known nonstop flights. The first, including a single-engine Fokker T-2, resulted in a 26-hour, 50-minute transcontinental flight from Roosevelt to San Francisco in 1923, while the second was the world-famous, solo, Charles Lindbergh, a nonstop, transatlantic flight four years later. later, on May 20, 1927, in the Spirit of St. Louis.
After its almost symbolic twist in the dawn-covered dawn before departure, the silver monoplane was plunged into darkness, doubt and the unknown of consensus belief in experience, but the tiny orange glow piercing the sky of the horizon somehow reflected a promise, a hope, a goal, a hope and a hope. to aspire to. From this point of view, however, France looked just as infinitesimal. Yet the precarious, muddy and water-impeded take-off, which barely cleared the trees, served as a threshold for the successfully covered 3610 miles from the Atlantic to Paris.
Until 1929, Roosevelt Field, integrating with its former half known as "Curtiss Field", was considered the "world premier airport" for its paved runways and runways, instrument flying equipment, hangars, restaurants and hotels, as in the early 1930s, it was the largest such facility in the country with 450 aircraft based and about 400 hourly movements. It also housed the home of Roosevelt Aviation School, one of the largest civilian pilot training facilities in the United States.
During the three-year post-World War I expansion phase between 1929 and 1932, Mitchell Field became one of the largest military installations in the United States, with eight reinforced concrete hangars, barracks, operational buildings, and warehouses and served as home to many squadrons of fighter jets, bombers and observers. The first continuous transcontinental bombing flight operated by the B-18 in 1938 departed here while two P-40 Warhawk squadrons were based in the field during World War II.
Indeed, the war requirement required only served to deepen Long Island's aviation core, which led to the explosive peak of military aircraft design and production by 1945, at which time about 100,000 locals were engaged in work related with aviation, mainly Republican Aircraft Corporation and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, in a union between man and machine, which ultimately won the war.
The first of these, founded in 1931 as the Seversky Aircraft Corporation, moved to larger facilities, redesigning the Republican Aviation Corporation seven years later and becoming the second largest supplier of fighter jets to the Army Air Corps due to its abundant quantities of P – 47 Thunderbolts sold to them.
The second one, founded in 1930 by Leroy Grumman, became the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation and was synonymous with Navy and amphibious aircraft, the first including the twin-seat FF-1, F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, TBM / TBF Avenger, F7F Tigercat and the F8F Bearcat, the latter covering Grumman Goose, Widgeon, Mallard and Albatross.
Changing post-war conditions, however, began to draw on Long Island aviation roots as warplanes no longer needed contracts and closed the suburbs that strangled Roosevelt and Mitchell Fields in closing. However, over 64,000 civilian and military aircraft have hatched from its manufacturers at the moment.
Passing the atmosphere, aviation is transformed into outer space.
Dr. Robert Godard, who successfully designed the world's first liquid-fueled rockets in Massachusetts, received $ 50,000 from Harry Guggenheim of Long Island to conduct related research and tests, and ultimately designed a liquid-fueled rocket engine, turbine fuel pump and gyro control device.
Eleven space companies subsequently bid to design and manufacture the required component to transfer Project Apollo's lunar module, allowing crew members to travel between the orbital command module and the lunar surface, and NASA awarded the Grumman contract in 1962. Two simulators, ten test modules and 13 operational lunar modules were built during the Apollo program, the most famous of which was the LM-5 "Eagle", which itself disappeared from the Apollo 11 spacecraft on July 20, 1969 and connected the first man to be with the moon for a century, leaving your imprint and the foundation of the Moon module itself as eternal proof of this feat.
In this way, the aviation seed planted on the plains of Hampstead on Long Island sprouted and grew, connecting its own soil with that of the moon.