Viewing page 3 of 60

[[image - drawing of A. Roy Knabenshue, by Milton Caniff]]


A. Roy Knabenshue

Becoming interested in Aeronautics during his teens, Knabenshue made many early Balloon flights and was among the first in America to pilot a steerable balloon. In October 1904 he piloted the first successful dirigible in AMERICA, the "California Arrow", at the St. Louis World's Fair. In February 1905 He successfully raced the Dirigible against an automobile at Los Angeles. He then built his own dirigible, the "Toledo I", which he first flew in July 1905. He later built his "Toledo II" and "III" dirigibles and flew them in demonstrations throughout the East. In 1908 he built and flew the first three-man dirigible and continued his exhibitions until 1910.

In 1910 The Wright Brothers formed the Wright Exhibition Company, comprised of a group of skilled pilots, and engaged Knabenshue to manage it. First performing under his direction at Indianapolis in June 1910, the team subsequently participated in numerous aviation meets throughout the country, including the Atlantic City Meet and the Belmont Park International Aviation Meet in 1910. In 1911 the team participated in the San Francisco Aviation Meet and later in the Chicago International Aviation Meet. The team set many records under his direction. In 1912 Knabenshue returned to making Dirigible Exhibition flights throughout the country. 

To A. Roy Knabenshue, for outstanding contributions to Aviation by early public demonstrations of balloons and steerable balloons, by designing, building, and demonstrating early dirigibles, and by managing Airplane Exhibition teams, this award is most solemnly and respectfully dedicated.

Awarded December 15, 1965 at Dayton, Ohio 
The Aviation Hall of Fame.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact