As a youngster of about 6, your webmaster’s father arranged to have him taken up for his first airplane ride at Curtiss-Wright Field north of Chicago, Illinois (it was also a Naval Reserve Training Station). That first airplane adventure hooked yours truly on becoming a pilot which I did, some 8 years later only a few miles from that old Curtiss Airport. At that time, WWII was in full swing (1944) and the old Curtiss Airport was now a hyper-busy all-Navy Flight Training Station (NAS).
But, back in 1935, that first airplane ride was on the civilian side of Curtiss Airport, and in a Stinson Reliant owned by American Airlines and sometimes used to give the public their first flying experience. This is a photo of that plane (an airplane built by the same family featured below):
And now, let’s explore an example of the vital role often played in early American aviation pioneering by the family of some of those intrepid pilots . . . both male and female. This Stinson Family Video is only 11:50 long. Suggest you watch this in full-expanded size on your screen: