Video Thursday: First US Navy Carrier, USS Langley CV-1, Eighty-Seven Years Ago!

On 17 November 1924, USS Langley (CV-1) reported for duty with the United States Navy’s Battle Fleet after two years in experimental status, thus becoming the Navy’s  first operational aircraft carrier. Head of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics was Rear Admiral William Adger Moffett who had pushed for the development of the Navy’s new air [...]

Ensign Devotie Billingsley, First Naval Aviator Casualty 1913

On 20 June 1913 Naval Aviation lost its first aviator when Ensign Devotie Billingsley fell from his aircraft. In the early days of Naval Aviation, aviators wore no torso harness or seat belts and sat on the edge of the wing. Billingsley was flying a Wright biplane, B-2, modified into a hydroaeroplane by the addition [...]

Video Thursday 3.24.11 American Tomcats, Russian Sukhoi and French Super Entendard!

This is the Centennial Year of Naval Aviation in the United States, and naval aviators have been flying onto (traps) and launching (cats) from ships for over 100 years. It is a dangerous business, but our pilots through experience, blood and training have become the best in the world at doing this. Today we’ll watch [...]

"Naval Aviator" Sobriquet Born 1915

Before 22 March 1915,  a pilot in the Navy was known as a “Navy Air Pilot,” after that date the term became Naval Aviator. As the World War II poster above asks, “Have you got it?” The Blue Angel pilot below demonstrates that he has got it! So where does the term “aviator” originate? The [...]

Video Thursday…06 January 2011

Welcome to Video Thursday! Since this year is the Centennial Year of Naval Aviation, today we’ll look at some old Naval Aviation technology aka aircraft and some new ones! Ride ‘em cowboy! Check out these early (1922) landings on the USS Langley, CV-1, Yee-haw! Hold on to your hat partners! Here is a clip from [...]

First United States Navy catapult launch, 12 November 1912

The first launch of a naval aviator and naval aircraft took place from a catapult mounted on a barge at the Washington Navy Yard. On  12 November 1912, Lieutenant  Ellyson, Naval Aviator #1,  made the first successful launch of an airplane by catapult in the Curtiss AH-3. This first catapult used by the Navy was [...]

Second Yale Unit, 1917

A group of Yale students volunteered to form a flying unit for the United States Navy in February 1917 and they enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as seamen second class on 16 April 1917, ten days after the American declaration of war. They were ordered to Buffalo, New York, for flight training at [...]

Father of Naval Aviation Birthdate

Today is the birthday of the naval officer who was able to foresee a power air arm of the United States Navy. William Adger Moffett was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on 31 October 1869. He was the son of Confederate Captain George Hall Moffett, who had served at Fort Sumter and under General Johnson [...]