Long Beach Sets Events for Flight Centennial

When Aero Club members visited Long Beach Airport (LGB) in June to see work being done on new passenger facilities, they learned that a series of events would be held in that city this year to celebrate Long Beach’s 100 years as an aviation center.

Club member Leon Blum, who handles public affairs for LGB, has advised the Aero Club that a number of special events through this summer and fall will take place around the city to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival at Long Beach on Dec. 10, 1911 of the first aircraft ever to fly coast-to-coast in America. That aircraft was a Wright Brothers-designed Model EX biplane, flown by 32-year-old adventurer Cal Rodgers (see photo).

Cal Rodgers takes off from New York in 1911 enroute to Long Beach

Cal Rodgers takes off from New York in 1911 enroute to Long Beach.

A website gives schedules, locations and ticket prices of all the planned events, Blum said, and Aero Club members are invited to participate. The website can be found at www.VinFizLongBeach.com. The schedule and other details can be seen by clicking on links at the top of the website’s home page.

Rodgers’ spruce and fabric aircraft was named the Vin Fiz, for a soft drink whose manufacturer sponsored the 84-day journey of the aircraft from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y. to California. The length of the trip was partly due to 16 crash landings en route, causing Rodgers and his ground crew to rebuild the vehicle almost entirely as repairs were made along the way.

Leon Blum can be contacted at his office number, (562) 570-2636.

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