Viewing page 11 of 17

Early Bleriot Monoplane Pilot

John Domenjoz was born in Geneva, Switzerland, April 5, 1886. Information is lacking concerning his early life and education, but he learned to fly at the Bleriot Flying School at Pau, France, in 1970. 

He continued his flying practice and soon was made an instructor at the Bleriot School, where he remained for about two years. During that time he claimed to have taught the famed French aviator Pegoud, who later became one of the first men in the world to loop an airplane. (The Russians claimed that Nesterov was first.) While in Europe Domenjoz obtained Belgian F.A.I. Flying License No.33.

Leaving Bleriot, Domenjoz started flying exhibitions and after demonstrating in many major cities of Europe he went to South American where he toured extensively and became a very famous acrobatic pilot, skilled in all the usual exhibition stunts and extended inverted flight. In April, 1915, he flew 40loops in twenty-eight minutes.

From South America he came to the United States arriving in New York on September 28, 1915, with his 50 h.p. Gnome-engined Bleriot monoplane. There he made arrangements for G.J. Kluyskens to be his booking agent for exhibition engagements. Kluyskens was the American Bleriot agent at that time and also had the agency for Gnome and Anzani aircraft engines and spare parts, with an office at 112 West 42nd Street.

Domenjoz soon started flying at Sheepshead Bay Race Track, Long Island, where huge crowds came to see his expert flying. He put on some great shows and soon the track committee made arrangements for him to fly weekly, sometimes in connection with automobile racing events. On Election Day, 1915, he flew over Manhattan and the Harbor, circled the Statue of Liberty and looped over the heart of the city. These weekly shows continued, then on December 11th he exhibited at Goshen, New York, making three flights there for a hospital benefit celebration.
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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