Viewing page 5 of 23


October 12th Ely flew at Youngstown, Ohio and on the 22nd to 30th at the Belmont Park International Meet in New York.  There he was competing with the big name aviators of the world, but for a new man he made a very good showing.  In November he flew in an air meet at Halethrop, Maryland, near Baltimore, on the 2d to 12th.  Also flying at this event were Hoxsey, Willard, DeLesseps, Drexel and Radley.  On the 14th and 15th Ely was at Norfolk, Virginia, where on the 14th he made the first of two historically notable flights during this fabulous flying career.
For some time Curtiss had been trying to convince the United States Navy that an aeroplane could take off and land on board ship, and knowing that a take-off would be less hazardous than a landing, he wanted to try to accomplish that first.  He finally received Naval approval, preparations wre made, and on November 14th Ely flew off a platform on the deck of the U.S. Cruiser Birmingham at anchor in Hampton Roads and landed ashore on the beach near Ft. Monroe.  This notable achievement was made on a foggy miserable day when success seemed most improbable.  Reportedly this first aircraft carrier achievement in history was made with the same plane Curtiss had used on his famous flight from Albany to New York earlier that year. 
Ely then flew an exhibition at Norfolk on the 15th, and was at Raleigh, South Carolina on the 16th and 17th.  He flew at Birmingham, Alabama on November 21st and 22d, and at Jackson, Mississippi on the 28th and 29th.  In December he was at New Orleans, Louisiana with McCurdy and Ward on the first to 3rd, Columbia, South Carolina with McCurdy the 7th to 10th, and Atlanta, Georgia the 15th to 18th.  He was then a contestant in the second annual Flying Meet at Dominguez Field, Los Angeles, California on December 24th to January 2d, 1911.  There also on the Curtiss Team were Curtiss, Willard, Robinson and Beachey.  On the Wright Team were Hoxsey and Parmelee.  From Europe were Latham and Radley.  It was at this Meet that Glenn Martin made his public flying debut.  Ely made second best showing the Curtiss men.  

Following this Ely was a Curtiss contestant at an air meet held at what was 
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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