William Hilliard
William Hilliard
William Hilliard
Yours at Mineola
Feb 8th 1911
Wm M Hilliard

Collection of Carol M. Lavis, 8-31-05
Carol hopes to find a home for this beautiful photograph.
If you are interested, I will forward your message to her. (3-7-06)

Flight by Burgess - Newberryport, Mass., June 24
Daily Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee:
June 25, 1910,
Via email from Bob Davis - 9-22-03
     "Maintaining a height of from seventy-five feet, William Hilliard, in a Burgess biplane, succeeded in flying approximately three miles without alighting shortly after dawn today. Hilliard was in the air five minutes."
     So his airspeed averaged about 35 miles per hour.

Harvard-Boston's Great Aero Meet - Boston, Mass. Aug 19.
Daily Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee:
August 19, 1910,
Via email from Bob Davis - 9-2-03
     "No aviation meet held in this country and probably none yet held in the world has had such a representative list of aviators as is assured in the Harvard-Boston aero meet, September 3 to September 13, according to the list of entrants to date announced tonight. The entry list is truly international and includes seventeen individual aviators and eleven types of air navigating machines. There is certain to be keen competition for the $40,000 hung up as prizes in a dozen events. The entrants follow:
  Walter Brookins
Arthur Johnson
Glenn H. Curtiss
Charles F. Willard
M. Didier Masson
A.V. Roe,
J. Graham White
William M. Hilliard
J. M. All_as
Ernest P. Lincoln,
Clifford D. Harmon
Captain Thomas Baldwin
Jacques Delesseps
Dr. W. P. Christmas,
John G. Stratton
Horace F. Kearner
Greely S. Curtis
Wright biplanes
Wright biplanes
Curtiss biplanes
Curtiss biplanes
Vendome aeroplane
Roe Triplane
Farman biplane & Bleriot monoplane;
Herring-Burgess biplane
Harvard biplane;
Christmas biplane
Burgess-Curtiss aeroplane
Pfitzer monoplane
Bleriot monoplane

     If you search for "William Hilliard +aviation" using Google, (9-9-03), you will find just two relevant links.
Witchcraft, awful architecture, first flight, slavery reparations.
     This webpage, on the Harvard Magazine website, offers a very interesting and comprehensive story on the history of the Plum Island Airfield, including a reference to the activities of William Hilliard. You may want to use the FIND button on "First Flight" to locate the story down the page. You will probably want to read the entire article if time permits. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
     This very comprehensive article was written by Edward S. Russell '78, President, Plum Island Community Airfield Inc., Byfield, Mass. It tells a fascinating story, featuring the important roles of several pioneer aviators and offers two important photographs of the Herring-Burgess #1 biplane, Courtesy of Burgess Aviation Museum, Plum Island Airfield, on loan from Bartlett Gould Collection.
      Following is an introductory paragraph extracted from the article.
     "The first airplane flight in New England occurred almost two months earlier than Lenger reported. (See the article immediately below.)
     On February 28, 1910, the Herring-Burgess #1 biplane, piloted by Augustus M. Herring, took off from the frozen surface of Chebacco Lake in Hamilton. The host for the flight was Norman Prince '09, LL.B. '11, a Law School student who, as legend has it, invited W. Starling Burgess '01 and Herring to try out their flying machine at his family estate while his parents were in Europe and young Prince was supposed to be studying. (Prince later cofounded the Lafayette Escadrille, a corps of American aviators who flew for France prior to the U.S. entry into World War I. He was killed in a crash on a mission in 1916.)"

     I suggest that you will be well rewarded by reading the whole article.
Conquest of the Air
In aviation's early days, Harvard pioneers advanced aeronautics and brought flight to the masses.
By John Lenger
     This webpage on the Harvard Magazine website offers a brief reference to William Hilliard and supplements the story on the website above. You may want to use the FIND button to locate his story on the page. You will probably want to read the entire article if time permits. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
I haven't been able to find the dates of his birth or death.

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

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