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
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.
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