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At the beginning of the twentieth century the skies presented a new frontier, one that attracted daredevils, businessmen, politicians, and engineers enticed by a new form of transportation. Louisiana entrepreneurs and pilots proved instrumental in ushering in the Golden Age of Aviation. They advanced aircraft design, revolutionized aerial crop dusting, pioneered airmail routes, pushed the limits of stunt flying, and entertained spectators with air races. A pilot and freelance writer with more than twenty years of experience in the aviation industry, Vincent P. Caire chronicles the state's history of flight in 196 vintage and contemporary photographs, many never-before published.
Photos of early aviation pioneer John Moisant, air racing champion General James Doolittle, barnstormer Roscoe Turner, aircraft designer James Wedell, and founder of Delta Airlines C. E. Woolman reflect Louisiana's zeal for aeronautics. Caire explains how the efforts of Senator Huey P. Long and Harry P. Williams, co-owner of the Wedell-Williams Air Service in Patterson, Louisiana, influenced the development of viable airmail routes throughout the southeastern United States. Rarely seen photographs depict the Art Deco elegance of the first modern, multioperational passenger terminal in the nation -- Shushan Airport in New Orleans.
A captivating visual tour spanning one hundred years, Louisiana Aviation celebrates the state's air history, evident in Louisiana's seventy airports, 5,000 aircraft, 7,000 pilots, and numerous airshows in operation today.
About the Author
Vincent P. Caire has written for Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine and Aviation International News, among other publications. He wrote and produced the public television documentary film Sky Riders: Louisiana's Aviation Pioneers. In 1986, he earned his private pilot's license at New Orleans Lakefront "Shushan" Airport.