CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, 1912
Less than a decade after the Wright Brother's first success, the citizens of Charlottesville saw the miracle of aviation themselves at a flying exhibition in Lambeth Field on April 6, 1912. Fighting an irregular, twenty-mile-an-hour wind, Beckwith Havens piloted a Curtiss biplane to the delight of 5,000 spectators. At 2 o'clock, the daring young aviator ascended. He attained a maximum height of about 1,800 feet and covered some fifteen or twenty miles. He reached speeds of up to 75 miles an hour during his ten-minute flight. After a half-hour rest, Havens took off again, barely clearing the tree-tops. The Daily Progress reported that "cheer after cheer arose from many parts of the grounds" as the plane sailed over the University. A third flight was cancelled because of unfavorable weather.
A Collection of Photographs by Rufus W. Holsinger,
Courtesy of Cecile Wendover Clover and F.T. Heblich, Jr.