George Armitage (1887-1948) Born in England, he came to Rhode Island as a youngster and attended Providence public schools. He may have been the first person to fly in Rhode Island; it is known that he began experimenting with “power driven gliders” as early as 1905. A 1934 article in Rhode Island Review stated: “To […]
Otto Hermann (c. 1870-1930): Otto Hermann was an auto stuntman who held a 1907 patent for a double loop-the-loop automobile-stunt ramp. He moved to Providence from Atlantic City, and started building his own biplane in the summer of 1909, described in a Journal article as “the first one to be tried out on testing grounds […]
Harry M. Jones (1890-1973) Described in a 1912 Providence Journal article as Rhode Island’s “1st home grown aviator”, Jones managed the very first air show ever held in Rhode Island that same year. He was also the first (and last) person ever to land a plane on the Boston Common. Jones was best known, however, […]
Mary Ann Lippitt (1918-2006) was a descendant of an old and influential Rhode Island family that was very active in Rhode Island business and politics. In 1944 she learned to fly during a visit to Virginia, and was soon a skilled aviatrix. She worked as a flying instructor in Virginia and served in the US air postal service before returning to Rhode Island. She was one of about a dozen women pilots in the state.
Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally hails from Warwick, and a Distinguished Graduate of the US Air Force Academy who became the first US female fighter pilot to fly combat missions, and the first woman to command an American fighter squadron.
John F. “Jack” McGee (1885 -1918), an aviation pioneer, was born in 1885 in Central Falls, but spent most of his life in Pawtucket. He made his first solo flight in August 1912, and by the end of the year had made a name for himself as an exhibition stunt pilot. Crowds as large as 50,000 […]
Jennifer Murray is the first woman to fly a helicopter around the world. The Providence-born Murray was also the first person of either gender to pilot a piston engine helicopter around the world and the first to do it without an autopilot. Perhaps the most astounding aspect of her aerial exploits, however, is the fact […]
Victor Pagé was born in 1885 and graduated from Classical High School in Providence in 1904. Although best known for his accomplishments in the automotive field, he may well have designed and built the first airplane ever to fly in Rhode Island. By 1909 he had already published his first aviation book, and was already […]