George Dyott
George Dyott and his Deperdussin
Mexico, 1911
Collection of Pablo Arumbe, 10-16-08

George Dyott
George Dyott and his Plane
Collection of Patrick Doherty, 3-21-06

via email from Mark Dyott
Son of George Dyott, 2-22-06
      I should start by saying I can only remember seeing my father twice in my life, once when I was perhaps 3 years old at Merrick, Long Island and again when he was 89 years old at Babylon, Long Island.
      He was born in New York City, February 6, 1883 to an American mother and English father and was raised at his father's English home in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He died on August 2, 1972 in Babylon, Long Island.
      He was educated at Farraday House, I think London, but left before graduating to come to the United States and wound up at Westinghouse in Pittsburg around, I think, 1903-1904. He was laid off at some point and went to Long Island, where he had relatives, and that's where he became interested in flying. He flew from probably late 1910, when he teamed up with Henry Walden, until 1913, and then until the end of the war, this part in England, where he was a Squadron Commander in the Royal Naval Air Service. He designed two aircraft, one a monoplane which he flew at Hempstead and the other a twin-engine biplane for the war, which was never used as it was underpowered, although, I've been told, it was later used for mapping palm groves in the Congo. He gave up flying after the war and became an explorer in Africa and India, but mostly in South America. During the 1920's, he was contracted to follow Teddy Roosevelt's Amazon "River of Doubt" trip notes to confirm TR actually made that trip, and subsequently was contracted to search for missing English explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett in the Matto Grosso jungle of Brazil. He also investigated possible air routes across the Andes in Peru and trapped wild animals in India, which he donated to the Bronx Zoo. He wrote four books related to his adventures, one of which was "adapted" by Warner Brother's for a movie, released in 1956. He lived most of his later life in the mountains above Quito, Ecuador, until he returned to live with my mom in Babylon around 1971.
      As a pilot, he was just one of many pursuing that interest in the early 1900's. However, he was involved in a couple of incidents of interest. In the fall of 1911, he flew his Deperdussin monoplane with a friend Patrick Hamilton as passenger at night in total darkness, using a searchlight mounted on the plane, certainly one of the first to try night flight. I have a photo of the plane showing the light. Subsequently, he travelled to Mexico with the Moissant interests for an air show, and while there, took up president-elect Francisco Madero, the first acting head of state to fly in an airplane (TR flew in, I think, 1910, but was not in office). As an aside, a fellow pilot on that Mexico trip, Harriet Quimby, died a year later during an air meet at Boston, and sixty years later, my dad was buried no more than a hundred yards from her gravesite at Valhalla, New York)
      I have several photos including one in the Walden monoplane but am not yet up to speed on the scanning and mailing process, so that will have to wait. If you have an interest, the Smithsonian has in their archives a writeup on my dad marked "From the Biographies of Harold E. Morehouse", never published, which was shown to me by Tom Crouch and expands a bit on what I've presented above.
      This is a bit more than you wanted, I'm sure, but I hope it's still of interest.
Editor's Note: My sincere thanks to Mark for this story of his father's career. It was an exciting story and certainly deserves to be made available to our online community.

George Dyott
George Dyott in Flight
Library of Congress Collection 10-29-08


The Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: September 8, 1912,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-11-04
"International Aviation Meet will be Featured by World's Championship Race. $10,000 Silver Service has been Won by an American, Once Curtiss and the Other Time Weymann
This Week's Program"
"Chicago, Sept. 7. - America's third international aviation meet, which opens Monday, will establish a new mark for America in the number of aviators of international fame entered. chief of these are the pilots of the foreign and American racers who compete in the Gordon Bennett world's championship aeroplane race, the first event of the meet.
      The meeting embraces daily monoplane and biplane handicap races, a scratch biplane and monoplane race which is designed to give further demonstration of the skill of the Gordon Bennett drivers, and a 40-kilometer race for all types, handicapped. Other contests are bomb and mail throwing, accuracy landing contests from heights of 1,000 feet without a motor and similar events in which the skill of the operator is tested.
      This is the fourth time aeroplanes have been matched for the world's championship, as typified by the $10,000 silver trophy given by James Gordon Bennett in 1908 to be contended for annually by licensed pilots of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.
      Twice before a single American entrant has driven his aeroplane ahead of his competitors and brought the silver trophy to America. Glenn H. Curtiss was the first winner, at Rheims, France, Aug. 28, 1909. His biplane finished the 12.4 mile race in 15 minutes, 50 seconds, or five seconds ahead of the looked-for winner, Louis Bleriot's monoplane. There were five starters, but only four of the flyers were able to cover the distance, which then was considered an almost impossible journey for an aeroplane.
      In New York on the Belmont park aerodrome, the second contest was held. The course had been lengthened to 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) and Claude Graham-White, England's best known airman, won in 71 minutes, 4 seconds, in the first 100-horsepower Bleriot monoplane built. Alfred LeBlanc, of France, led in the race in a similar machine, up to the last lap of the field, when he ran out of gasoline and in landing, crashed into a telephone pole and smashed his aeroplane.
      Graham-White's victory took the trophy for England, where it was contested for in 1911 on the Isle of Sheppy at Eastchurch, July 1. Charles Terres Weymann, sole American entrant, again went up in a 100 horsepower Nieuport monoplane and captured the trophy. His time for the 100 kilometers was 81 minutes, 30 seconds, a speed of over eighty miles an hour, then a world's speed record. Leblanc again after the world championship, had to content himself with second, being two minutes slower than Weymann.
      Speed alone determines the winner, there being no restriction on the construction of the aeroplane. Because of the high speeds obtained, few aviators have cared to enter, and in the three events held previously, a total of thirteen entrants only appear on the lists.
      This year the race has been lengthened to 200 kilometers (124 miles), and the course was laid out as an ellipse of 4.14 miles, requiring thirty laps to complete the races. In the French elimination trials, Jules Vedrinesmade a speed of 100 miles an ahour, which established expectance as to what speed would be made by the choice machines of the six nations competing - America, England, France, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.
      France designated Jules Vedrines and Maurice Prevost, pilots of Deperdussin monoplanes, and Andre Frey, who drives an Hanriot monoplane, as its representatives. England had named Claude Graham-White, Gustave Hamel and George Dyott, but it was certain until the last minute just who would make the actual flights.
      Belgium's representative, Charles Morok, died of typhoid fever a few daysbefore the race, and Jan Wynmalen, who was to represent Holland, was so disappointed in the showing of his Oerts monoplane, he withdrew. Edmund Audemars, Switzerland's representative, was not certain of entering, and as for America, the choice of pilot will not be definitely settled till the day before the race. An American defender prepared to carry a 100 horsepower motor, the largest aero motor ever designed.
      The hydroaeroplane, or airboat, aviation contests are the first ever held outside military competetions held in France for selection of government machines. The contests must continue five days during which races and contests are evolved to demonstrate how the multi-use machine may be guided on the water, be raised into the air and flown as a flying craft.
      In addition efficiency prizes have been offered, the contest being the numbers of passengers carried, the length of time one, two, and three extra persons may remain aloft, and other similar competetions."
Bob Davis

New York Herald
August 2, 1913
Transcribed by Roy Nagl - 12-26-05
ASBURY PARK, Friday.---A severe electrical storm, late this afternoon, so badly damaged George Dyott's aeroplane that he will have to abandon his flight from Garden City, L. I., to Washington. He announced tonight that it will be necessary to ship the aeroplane to New York for repairs.
     Lighting struck the pole on the hangar and nearly killed the helper in the building. The tent housing the aeroplane was blown to sea.

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