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Hudson-Fulton Celebration

The William H. Martin MonoplaneIn May 1909, Mr. Martin returned to New York...this time with his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Martin demonstrated their plane successfully at the Hudson-Fulton Celebration which sponsored an air meet in Morris Park, N.Y. under the auspices of the New York Aeronautic Society. A New York newspaper gave this account of the exhibition:

"George Thompson, an ex-jockey, traveled around the old Morris Park race track twice yesterday in the Martin aeroplane, just arrived from Canton, Ohio. The aeroplane is bereft of motor so the motive power was supplied by an automobile. The flying machine was hitched to the motor car by a rope about 150 feet long and towed around the mile long track at a speed of 30 miles an hour. The following is an account of a flight witnessed by a reporter present at Morris Park...

"When going against the wind the monoplane rose to a height of between 15 and 75 feet, depending on the speed of the car. Whenever the automobile increased its speed the aircraft would receive such momentum that it would attempt to dash ahead of its guide.

"The Martin aeroplane is one of the most curious contrivances...among the 14 machines at Morris Park. It is 30 feet wide and about 30 feet long. Instead of consisting of the usual rigid planes top and bottom (biplane), it has one wide top plane and two planes inclined toward the bottom in the shape of a "V." These planes (monoplanes) constitute what is known as the dihedral principle and give the apparatus stability while in flight.

"It is mounted on small wheels for starting purposes and carries a rear rudder practically of the same construction as the main plane. The elevating is done by means of a plane in front.

"Yesterday's experiments were the first that Mr. Martin has made in New York. He did not fly in the contrivance himself because he wanted to see how it would act above the track in Morris Park...

"While the machine was in flight yesterday with Thompson aboard, it gave good indications of maintaining its equilibrium while going at high speed.

"As it swooped around the track behind Oral A. Parker's automobile it swayed from side to side. (The driver of the car was, at times driving faster than Mr. Martin had intended.) The airplane narrowly missed collision with an obstructing tree, but it showed very clearly that it would always right itself before coming to the upsetting point."

Hudson-Fulton Celebration, continued >>

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