Nepean Naval and Maritime Museum

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America's first aircraft carrier

America's first Aircraft Carrier

Check out the original life preserver the pilot is wearing. It's bicycle inner tubes. They had no idea what would happen.

Also, check the sand bags holding in place the landing strip.

Eugene Ely takes his Curtiss pusher airplane off the deck of USS Birmingham on 14 November 1910. It was the first airplane takeoff from a warship. He flew for two miles before landing on a Willoughby Spit beach. It was a big success so they decided to continue the experiment, but this time, a plane had to land on a ship.

On 18 January 1911, Eugene Ely lands with the same plane on USS Pennsylvania, making this first landing on a warship in history and a historical event.