Frank Goodale
Aeronaut Frank W. Goodale - 1909
Courtesy of Rod Filan, 2-5-06
Rosebud's WW I and Early Aviation Image Archives

Paragraph extracted from an image, courtesy of Rod Filan, 2-5-06
Twenty year-old Frank W. Goodale first brought his 58 foot Strobel airship to Palisades Park, New Jersey in 1909. He was billed as "The World's Youngest Boy Aeronaut" and made many historic first flights across the Hudson River. On 29 May 1909, opening day at the amusement park, Goodale flew over the river, circled around Grant's Tomb in New York, and returned to the starting point. On 11 June 1909 Goodale circled over the cruiser USS New York and on 12 July he made a flight over New York following a route along Broadway from 11th Street to 42nd Street where he circled and returned. The first night flight of an airship over New York City was made by Goodale on 19 July 1910. By 1911, the owners of the amusement park, Nick and Joe Schenck, decided to buy Goodale his own dirigible and placed him on the payroll. However, the Strobel airhsip company owned the rights to his exhibition flights as Goodale had three years remaining on his five-year contract. The actions of the Schenck brothers resulted in an injunction prohibiting Goodale from flying; claiming breach-of-contract. After months of legal battles, an out-of-court settlement was reached and Frank Goodale was able to resume flying at Palisades Park by the Fourth of July.

     If you search for "Frank Goodale", using the Google search engine,
(2-5-06), you will find about 43 links. Perhaps the most helpful are the following.
Frank Goodale Video
     You will find several references to Frank on Carroll Gray's "Lincoln Beachey" website. You might want to start by viewing a short video of his airship by clicking on the title above.
     Next you should take a look at a very nice photograph of Frank by clicking on:
Frank Goodale
     While on the site, and if time permits, you should go to the homepage and take the opportunity to enjoy the many other resources of Carroll's website.

Early birds didn't always escape the bonds of earth
By Dan Close
The Wichita Eagle
"Once Orville and Wilbur Wright proved, in 1903, that flying was possible, every hotshot who could scrape up lumber and sheets wanted to soar with the birds.

Aviation's first 15 years were filled with adventure. Daredevils smitten by the clouds dreamed up their own crafts - ponderous dirigibles to primitive helicopters to crude spruce-and-linen biplanes - in search of thrills and chills.

Some even got off the ground.

At first, they flew just for the glory of sailing above the crowds and making a few bucks giving rides at air shows and county fairs.

"During this period, aviation was probably more of a curiosity than anything," said Walt House, a member of the Wichita Aeronautical Historical Association. "There were some flyers who did it for the fun of barnstorming and there were promoters who did it for the money they could make putting on air shows."

     To read the whole article, which originally appeared in the Eagle on Monday, October 15, 1984, and which includes a brief reference to Frank Goodale, and to Roy Knabenshue, just click on the title above.
     You may want to use the FIND function on "Goodale" to locate his entry on the page.

Strobel-Goodale Airship Palisade Park c.1911
     On this page of Rod Filan's Rosebud's WW I and Early Aviation Image Archive, you will find a number of links to images of Goodale and his dirigible. The image at the top of this page comes from his archive. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
     While on the site, and if time permits, you should go to the homepage and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the many other resources of Rod's outstanding website, which currently contains some 3420 downloadable images.

Frank W. Goodale died in 1948
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

BackNext Home