Connecticut also played a major part in the early
air-transportation industry when in 1911, then Governor Simeon
E. Baldwin acknowledged the airplanes potential as
a regular mode of transportation between distant places.
He proposed a statute to the Connecticut General Assembly providing
for the registration of airplanes owned and operated in the state,
and certification of the pilots flying them. Connecticuts
action is considered the first aeronautical law enacted by a governmental
agency, fifteen years before the U.S. Air Commerce Act.
First Airplane in Willimantic
Photo CD: 0553
In the early
days of aviation the landing of a two-winged biplane in a nearby
field would have been an exciting event, drawing people from all
around the community to see the plane and possibly talk with the
daring and adventurous pilot. The first plane to land in Willimantic,
in about 1918, was such an event. Men, women, and children have
gathered in close to the roped-off area around the plane. Four
men in uniform hold on to the plane posing for the camera with
another three or more behind the wing and body. Although the plane
has no distinctive markings, the men in uniform may indicate that
the plane is of military origins, on maneuvers or a test flight.
Even though its hard to know which two men are the pilot
and co-pilot, they will be the ones that everyone will want to