View Full Version : First president to fly ever

12th Jul 2004, 00:21
Anybody know who was the first president to fly in an airplane while being in office?

Anybody know when the very first air to air shots were fired?

If anybody know the facts I will greatly appreciate an answer.

12th Jul 2004, 10:03
Just a guess:

Pre 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt C54/DC4? The first jet aircraft, a Boeing 707, was purchased in 1962 for use as Air Force One.

First air to air photographs would have to be around 1912. Maybe the first photographs were of Sir Percy Ware-Armitage? (http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=49617) :E

12th Jul 2004, 15:15
I believe it was Teddy Roosevelt - but it's not as simple as that...

At an airshow at Aviation Field in St. Louis, Missouri on October 11, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt was offered a seat as a passenger in a plane for a demonstration flight. The pilot's name was Arch Hoxsey, who had just completed a record flight from Springfield, Illinois. The plane reached an altitude of about 50 feet, circled the field twice and stayed airborne for about four minutes. TR said he wished they could have stayed in the air for an hour. Arch Hoxsey was killed in a plane crash on December 31, 1910. This flight made TR the first President to fly in a plane. There is a picture of him strapping himself in that does look as though he was the pilot, but he was not.

Taken from http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/life/firsts.htm

However, although he was 'President Roosevelt' at this point, he wasn't in office, having been replaced by William Taft.

In which case, I'm pretty sure it'd be FDR (as suggested) flying to the Casablanca Conference.

12th Jul 2004, 22:25
Curiously Presidents were pretty late comers in flying
First in France, I guess was Vincent Auriol, in office during the late forties/early fifties. Aircraft was a chartered Air France L.749.
But first to introduce a presidential and gov vip-hauler was Charles De Gaulle in 1963 when the government took up a Caravelle. In 1966 then came a first DC.8-F54 for long range missions. Until then De Gaulle called on an AF L1649A Starliner and then a Boeing 707. During wartime as head of the free french, De Gaulle alrerady used a wide variety of aircrafts including a Bloch 120, a Dewoitine 338, captured from the Vichy namesakes, but more permanent was a Lockheed L.18 Lodestar.

12th Jul 2004, 22:45
As far back as April 1842, Benito Leon Acosta, from Guanajuato, became the first Mexican to fly a balloon. Joaquin del la Cantolla y Rico designed, constructed and flew balloons in 1862 for more than 30 years, flying over Mexico City.

Some of the first Mexican pilots: Alberto Braniff, Guillermo Villasana and Miguel Lebrija became world known names.

Mexican president Francisco I. Madero was the first head of state in the world who flew in an airplane on November 30, 1911. After that experience he trained five enthusiastic pilots: Alberto Salinas Carranza (nephew of later president Venustiano Carranza), Gustavo Salinas Campiña, Horacio Ruiz Caviño and brothers Juan Pablo and Eduardo Aldazoro. These five founded the Mexican Air force. Their bronze busts are exhibited in “Benito Juarez International Airport” in Mexico City.

The first bombardment from an aircraft in the world took place in Mexico. Pilot Gustavo Salinas Carranza and artilleryman Theodoro Madariaga on board the constitutionalist’s army biplane “Sonora” defeated the Federal Government gunboats Guerrero and Moreloson April 15,1914 in Topolobampo Sonora. A few months later on June 28, World War I exploded,

12th Jul 2004, 22:51
The Italian forces used aircraft to drop bombs (well, more like grenades) in 1911 when fighting in Libya) - so the latter claim is wrong.

The Italian use of aircraft for bombardment was even commented on in meetings of the Committee for Imperial Defence (UK) at the time.

13th Jul 2004, 00:02
"President" - I assumed USA.

If you are talking "Head of State" rather than specifically President of the USA, The Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) flew in 1934 (in a DH84 Dragon) and possibly earlier, and Australian Prime Ministers flew in the 1920's.

13th Jul 2004, 00:43
I believe that the first head of state to fly in an aeroplane was King Ferdinand of Bulgaria on a visit to France in 1910.

According to the Royal Family's website, George VI (then just Prince Albert) was a member of the RAF between 1918 and 1919 and the first to fly (he gained his wings, apparently), followed by Edward VIII (then Prince of Wales) in 1929 - he took a trip in a Bristol Fighter, followed by Prince George (later Duke of Kent). They both learned to fly as well. I dimly recall seeing something about Edward partcipating in one of the Air Defence exercises in the 1930s. He was also the first reigning monarch to fly, since he established the King's Flight in 1936.

13th Jul 2004, 02:15
We can of course carry this a little further...

Who was the first US president to be a licensed pilot, and regularly fly Air Force One...(altho it might not have been called AF1 at that time)?

And, by 'fly', I mean actually fly the aircraft (including takeoff and landing), not just riding along in a pilots' seat.

Keep in mind that AirForce One is not necessarily the big four engine piston/jet either.

13th Jul 2004, 14:23

A very popular US president at the time.

13th Jul 2004, 14:43
Ike? What type did he fly as president?

Iron City
13th Jul 2004, 15:31
Ike was known to have flown Piper Cubs and Taylorcraft during WWII, believe he got a civil license but don't know for a fact that he flew as PIC while President, thoughthere is no reason he could not have.

The original post also had the question offirst air to air shots fired. I presume that is projectiles of some kind fired from oneairborne vehicle at another, not photographs. I beleiev it could have been at Vicksburg Mississipi during the Civil War when Union (contract) balloon pilots/observers were callingand correcting artillery fire and a Confederate balloon was launched with an armed crew to shoot the Union balloon down.

13th Jul 2004, 20:01
A complete tangent....

But I was wondering the other day how many a/c types from W.W.II flew leaders of nations in W.W.II. (Bear with me) ;)

The Fieseler Storch had aboard Benito Musolini, Adolf Hitler, Eisenhower (later, Ike, later) and Winston Churchill, as well as a host of other VIPs (at different times, you understand - Mussolini and Churchill together would be WAY over the limits).

Is that some kind of type record? Certainly for a two seater I'd guess.

Brainboxes on!


James K

13th Jul 2004, 22:03
Fieseler Storch.

Sorry, :{ just had to correct the spelling........

"In a light breeze the Storch could take off in just 200 feet (60 meters) and land in about 66 feet (20 meters)."

Now, that's a STOL airplane!

13th Jul 2004, 22:24
Yeah, and the Ozzie mini-Storch really is amazing! Demo at Biggin several years ago was one thing... trying to figure out whether the one at the PFA was full scale or not (not!) was quite another...!

14th Jul 2004, 02:06

Yes, Eisenhower is quite correct.

The aircraft was an AeroCommander 560, that i'm sure at least a dozen young air force enlisted guys kept nice and shiney.

Have a photo somewhere, will try to post same if I can find it.

14th Jul 2004, 02:37
Woomera - you may breathe again... Sorry about the spelling. Away from my refs, didn't think to use the web! :rolleyes:

Are you named after the CAC product? My grandparents worked there and saw the first flight. (And the first flight of the first Wirraway - a lot more exclusive!)

Any more Presidents, leaders and Storch SLF offers anyone?