Within a few years of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, dozens of inventors and companies developed their own aircraft designs. It was an era of exciting progress and crazy experimentation. Many of the aircraft types that emerged in these pioneer days of aviation look like bizarre death traps that shouldn’t even have flown. Yet hundreds of pilots, enamored by the novelty of conquering the skies, took to the clouds in these under-powered, rickety planes held together by wood, canvas and a prayer.
In this picture, a group of well dressed men and women have gathered in Belmont Park on October 30, 1910 to watch an early airshow. A hodgepodge of aircraft of all shapes and sizes are flying overhead, in what appears to be a chaotic, too close formation.
It is interesting to note the different types of planes in this one picture: there are bi-planes and single winged (monoplanes) aircraft. A blow up of the plane in the center shows that the pilot flying the aircraft does not have a proper cockpit or even a chair. He seems to be precariously perched on top of the fuselage of the plane. Note also the primitive landing gear.