1911 Aviation Show
Chicago Examiner September 28, 1910
BROOKINS SOARS OVER LOOP AS 250 GAZE IN AWE.
Airman Circles I. C. Station, Flies Over Skyscrapers, Around Postoffice, Over Lake and Lauds in Safety.
Police Fight Back Curious, Who Try to Grip Hand of First Man to Dare Sky Battle With Chicago’s Gales.
Only Throb of Motor Heard as Human Bird Races 2,500 Feet High; Morning Triumph Surpassed in Evening,
FACTS OF THE FLIGHTS.
Start of morning flight, 11:55; finish, 12:00
Maximum height, 1,200 feet.
Distance traveled, 9 miles.
Rate of speed, 49 miles per hour.
Course—Over Grant Park in spiral to greatest height, then around tower of Illinois Central Depot.
Wind velocity, 13 miles per hour from west.
Start, 5 o’clock; finish, 5:20.
Maximum height, 2,500 feet.
Distance traveled, 19 miles.
Rate of speed, 54 miles per hour.
Course—Spiral flight over Grant Park, around Illinois Central Depot, over loop district, around postoffice and return.
Wind velocity, 9 miles per hour.
Estimated number of spectators at botli flights, 250,000.
Daring Airman Skirting Chicago Skyline and Striking Landmarks Beneath Path
In foreground is the Art Museum; in center, the Peoples Gas Light & Coke Company Building; at extreme left, the Marquette Building, and on the right of this structure the Pullman Building; to the. right of the Peoples Gas Building is the Municipal Court Building, the Illinois Athletic Club and the University Club. Below are a few of the privileged within the lines watching flight.
The first real exhibition of an aeroplane in actual flight under ordinary conditions was seen in Chicago yesterday As light as feather blown before the wind, Walter R. Brooklns, the twenty-two-year-old pupil of the Wright brothers, gave two displays of his skill as an aviator th the very heart of Chicago before a fascinated crowd of 250,000 skyward-gazing spectators. From the spectacular point of view the second flight, which started at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, was the most successful, although nothing occurred during either that marred their perfection.
Starting exactly at 5 o’clock, Brookins mounted into the air at the north end of Grant Park after a run along the ground of scarcely more than 100 feet and then came a series of curves and sweeping arcs which kept the crowd turning first one way and then another in entranced silence. Not a sound could be heard from the concourse, and the popping of the motor of the flying machine, which at times looked no morn than a mere speck ln the sky, was distinctly audible. Here and there could be heard cries of wonder or fear as the forty-foot mechanical bird tilted from one side to the other as it took the turns.
Mounts Higher at Turn.
Flying low at first. Brooklns guided his machine as far south as Tan Bnren street. where he made his first turn back towards the north, all the time mounting higher. A second time the same course was gone over when a height of approximately 1,000 feet was reached. A final turn beaded the machine south at an upward angle and a course was taken around the Illinois Central depot. By this time the height and distance was so great that the big biplane seemed to be poised In tin:
air without motion.
The climax of the performance came when Brooklns turned almost imperceptibly and hended west toward the loop district while more than 2.500 feet ln the air, according to the calculation of James E. Plew, president of the Chicago Aero Club, who acted as official recorder. The crowd sent up a cheer of encouragement.
At what seemed a snail’s pace the airman flew ont over the skyscrapers along Michigan avenue, and continued until be had completely circled the postoffice-bullding. Then, heading again for the lake front, he made another wide detour out over the lake and around tha Held as far south as Twelfth street.
Here the aviator determined to end the flight, and tilting the planes of his machine to what seemed a dangerous point he coasted toward the ground at an angle of 30 degrees. It looked for a moment that the second successful flight was about, to be completed.
The above diagram shows the route taken by Brookins in his second flight yesterday. He started at the foot of Randolph street at 5 o’clock, describing a series of curves and arcs. He flew to Van Buren street, circled back halfway to starting point, then south almost to Twelfth street, back again and south again, circling the Illinois Central depot facing Park Row; then he flew northwest over Michigan avenue, Wabash avenue, State and Dearborn streets, circling the federal building tower, thence back around the Illinois Central depot again and to the aviator’s tent. Below at left is the postoffice tower, and at right, Walter B.Brookins, the airman.
Soars Like Wild Bird.
When about 150 feet from the ground the boy in the machine, with a sudden change of mind, made a quick turn, and mounted with amazing speed, exactly like a wild bird which has spied an enemy. Another turn and the real descent commenced. It looked for a minute as though nothing could save the aeroplane from being dashed to pieces. When only five feet from the ground Brooklns tilted the lateral planes and skimmed the ground as lightly and daintily as a lark, and after coasting foe
fifty feet came to rest. The aviator leaped to the ground and was immediately surrounded by a group of admirers, who smothered Bim with their congratulations.
It required a large detachment of mounted police, acting under the command of Captain Charles Healey, to restrain the throng that insisted on breaking through the police lines about the aviator’s tent. The biplane would have been crushed like an egg had the curious been able to get
Of equal interest was the flight made in the morning and probably afforded the first opportunity to thousands of seeing a man coasting about the air in a mechanical contrivance. To the uninitiated the sight of the white expanse of canvas and wood, as the aeroplane rested on the grass of the aviation field, did not suggest the possibility of the marvelous display that followed. To have seen an automobile suddenly rise from the ground would not have caused more wonder than what actually occurred.
Walter R. Brookins
Start Made on Time.
Almost on the schedule time of 12 o’clock—Brookins boasts that he always starts at the appointed time— he sailed into the air. The fluttering and motion of bird flight was entirely lacking and, except for the sound of the motor, the machine ieemed to be moving without power. The big blades of the propellers revolved so rapidly that only an occasional reflection as they were caught by the sun gave evidence of their existence. Back and forth, up and down, the airman steered his course. When at a height of 1,200 feet he attempted to fly over the loop, but after reaching the Railway Exchange Building the wind grew so treacherous that he gave up the effort and awaited evening for its successful accomplishment.
Two more exhibitions are planned for to-day at the same time as those of yesterday and will form the last of the series of preparatory flights that will take place before the start of the endurance race to Springfield from Washington Park.
So interested were the persons in Judge Eberhardt’s court on Michigan avenue yesterday during Brooklns’ first trial that orders were given that the proceedings adjourn temporarily until the flight was over.
Chicago Examiner September 29, 1910
FACTS ABOUT FLIGHTS
Start, 12:30. Finish, 12:42.
Total time in air, 10 minutes 40 seconds;
Distance traveled, 9¼ miles.
Rate per hour, 56 miles.
Maximum height, 2,000 feet.
Wind velocity at altitude of 310 feet, 13 miles per hour.
Number of spectators (estimated),300,000.
First start, 5 o’clock. Finish, 5:05
Total time In air, 5 minutes.
Distance. 3½ miles.
Maximum height, 1.000 feet.
Second start, 5:25. Finish. 5:32.
Carries passenger weighing 166 pounds.
Total time in air. 7 minutes.
Distance traveled, 4 miles.
Rate of speed, 3S miles per hour.
Maximum height. 1.200 feet.
Third start, 5:J3. Finish. 5:50.
Time in air, 7 minutes.
Rate of speed, 55 miles per hour.
Distance traveled, 4 miles.
Maximum height, 1.500 feet.
Wind velocity at height of 310 feet, 9 miles per hour from northeast.
Brookins in Full Flight as He Dashed Past Ward Tower
Chicago a City of Color, Is Impression of Brookins
By Walter R.Brookins.
CHICAGO, viewed by an aviator in a flying; machine, ia a different city from the one that the person sees from the street. The imaginings of the “bird’s-eye” artist are not to be compared with >£ the actual sight. Every building is visibile as far as the eye can see, and each has its quota of upturned faces, which follow the movements of my machine.
To me they look like mere white specks, and they seem to crawl about like ants. Each different portion of the city has its distinctive coloring’. Black, brown and gray blends into the blue and red of the
Not all of my time, however, can be spent in gazing. What to the spectator on the ground seems an almost motionless flight is really full of excitement.
The turns, which are apparently made without effort, are really accomplished with incredible rapidity. The wind blows with such force that Iam almost blinded at times, and when I am flying with lt I often make a speed of seventy-flve miles an hour. On the other hand though, when going into the teeth of a gale, I barely make progress.
When an eddy or sudden gust ls encountered then comes the greatest danger. Sometimes the biplane drops with such suddenness that I can feel the seat falling away from me, but a quick turn of the rudder always brings it back into balance again. I do not enjoy all of my flights, but they at least are exciting and when I am expected to go up I will do so in short of anything but,a hurricane.