ALFRED N. CHANDLER picked Wilmington, Del., August 17, 1858, as a good spot to land.
As a relief from the troubles of a stock broker he turned to ballooning and was one of the first members of the Aero Club of America.
As such he felt the responsibility of owning an air craft and one day he and Augustus Post bought a draft on Morgan in Paris to pay for a new Mallet balloon, which he named the "Initial."
On May 12, 1906, it made its initial ascent, from Philadelphia to South Amboy, N. J., with friends H. S. Gratz and Charles Levee. Great enthusiasm was aroused in Philadelphia club circles and on the 24th was organized the Aero Club of Philadelphia, with Chandler president - the first aero club to become affiliated with the Aero Club of America, the FAI representative in this country.
Two days later was made the first ascent under the auspices of the new organization. Ascents continued through 1907, by Chandler and friends or by his friends, to whom he loaned his balloon. Early in 1907 he was instructor to the late Alan R. Hawley who was qualifying for his own pilot rating.
In 1908 the balloon burst during inflation. After repairs the Aero Club of Philadelphia bought it and continued it in service to an unknown date.
Courtesy of Steve Remington at COLLECTAIR
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper