Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Spanked Aviatrix


© Guyspencer 2014
The Spanked Aviatrix

In 1911, this was brand new!  In fact, it was a spectacle that few in the world had yet experienced.  Standing outside a field near Dayton Ohio,  Calbraith Perry Rodgers’ heart was instantly filled with a new passion.  It was a passion that had nothing to do with ladies or physical lust.  You see, Cal had just seen his first airplane in flight! 

He had already read every word about flight he could find in the popular press, mostly lurid accounts authored by folks who had never seen an airplane.  Hungry to see for himself, Cal had come to this soggy field called Huffman Prairie where the Wright Brothers ran their flight school.

There wasn’t much to learn about aviation at the time, so Cal required only 90 minutes of flight instruction from Orville Wright before flying solo. A man of some means, Cal became the 49th licensed pilot and was an early purchaser of a Wright Flyer.

A handsome man barely in his thirties, Cal was a sportsman, and a man who loved risky adventures.  So what does an adventurer who suddenly finds himself owning one of the world’s few airplanes do?  Naturally, he embarked on a challenging adventure!

_________________________

It was the publisher William Hearst who threw down the challenge that fired Cal’s imagination.  Hearst offered a $50,000 prize for the first airplane to fly coast-to-coast in 30 days or less.  In 1911, $50,000 was a fortune!  However, the task was vast.  Only a few had managed to stay aloft for over an hour without landing.  Airplanes were unsteady and fragile devices.  Engines wore out fast and failed often.  Naturally, airports didn’t yet exist.  Even fuel was a problem.    

By now William Blériot had famously flown across the English channel, but that was only 21 miles!  Cal, an inexperienced pilot, was considering a flight of thousands of miles!

After consultation with the Wrights, Cal determined that such a trip would require huge support.  Coast-to coast roads didn’t yet exist, so it would take a special train to carry the spare parts and the crew necessary to keep the airplane flying.  Cal wasn’t poor, but this was beyond his means!

So Cal took a step that would be familiar today.  He sought a deep-pocketed corporate sponsor.  He found such a person in meat packer, J. Ogden Armour.  But it wasn’t meat that Armor wished to advertise.  Instead, it was a new grape soft drink called “Vin Fiz”.  Cal struck a deal that gained him financial support for the trip.  The term “naming rights” didn’t yet exist, but Cal agreed to rename his Flyer the “Vin Fiz”.  To squeeze the maximum advertising value from his investment, Mr. Armour would ensure saturation media coverage for the flight.

So Cal lost control over certain aspects of his adventure.  Although he had pictured himself the sole media hero of this adventure, Mr. Armour had other plans.  Cal’s Flyer, (now the “Vin Fiz”) consisted of two rudimentary seats attached to biplane wings and pushed by a weak and cantankerous engine.  Although it could fly with two aboard, it flew much better with just a single pilot.  But to Cal’s horror, that wasn’t Mr. Armour’s plan!   Cal would have a copilot.

When Cal was introduced to his “copilot”, he was simultaneously horrified and charmed.  Mr. Armour had slyly chosen a young lady for the job!  He claimed that he had chosen Harriet Quimby because she was the lightest applicant, and therefore wouldn’t overload the “Vin Fiz”.  But actually Mr. Armour understood one enduring business principle, “sex sells”.   

Although Mr. Armour billed her as God’s gift to aviation, the truth was that Harriet’s flying skills were virtually nonexistent.  Actually, she had been hired more for her petiteness, her beauty, and her charm than for piloting ability.  It would be Cal’s job to teach her how to fly along the way.  Mr. Armour insisted that Harriet actually pilot the Flyer, and not be just a passenger.

Harriet was a slim but shapely lady in her twenties.  Although she had no lack of male admirers, she avoided entanglements.  Adventurous, intelligent and educated, Harriet was a journalist by trade.  She had combined a bit of adventure with her work by taking a few flight lessons.  Those brief minutes of airborne instruction comprised her sole aviation resume.    

Cal and Harriet’s first meeting was hardly a success.  Cal didn’t want a copilot at all, and certainly no female one!  What Cal found was a slight but shapely young lady with a delicate face and an assertive, flamboyant, self-promoting personality.  Assertive females were both rare and unappreciated in 1911, so the two immediately clashed.  However, the clash wasn’t entirely Harriet’s fault.  Believing the hype that Armour was already feeding the media, Harriet had been led to believe that she would be Cal’s equal.  When Cal told her that he was in charge of the expedition, Harriet immediately challenged him!  She claimed that Mr. Armour, the man who had hired her, was the boss.

In a tense 3-way meeting, Mr. Armour cleared up the misunderstanding.  He asserted that he was indeed in overall charge of the expedition.  Hearing this, Harriet’s face lit up.  She was just about to turn to Cal to say “I told you so,” when the man continued; “I’m in charge, but Cal is your boss!  However, once he has properly trained you, you will share the flying duties.”

“Most importantly”, he said, including both of them in a fierce stare, “Harriet will be SEEN by the press to fly the plane.”  Looking directly at Cal he added, “Is that clear?”  Reluctantly, Cal nodded.  He didn’t like it, but clearly his sponsor wouldn’t bend on that point.

So Mr. Armour started expensive preparations for the coast-to-coast flight of the Vin Fiz.  There would be a special support train.  Each day, Cal and Harriet would fly as far as possible, and then sleep in the train.  The train would carry an immense supply of spare airplane parts, and serve as a mobile repair shop.  The Wrights would send their top mechanic. There would be a private car with bedrooms for Cal and Harriet, a car for the press, and other cars for the crew and for dining.  At the rear of the train Mr. Armour would ride in elegant splendor in his private rail car.    

No detail was too small for Mr. Armour’s attention.  At first Cal was happy that he was allowed to choose his own flying outfit, whilst Mr. Armour would choose Harriet’s. Of course, normal female attire for the time would have been totally inappropriate.  Imagine yourself sitting in a lawn chair whilst facing a 50 MPH breeze, and you quickly understand why no skirt will do.  The lady must wear trousers! 

So Armour commissioned a special outfit for Harriet.  For the time, those trousers were the most controversial part of Harriet’s new suit.  Like Jodhpurs, the trousers were loose where it mattered, and tight where it mattered, clearly announcing her femininity.  (As if anyone could miss it.)  The hooded top covered her upper body and framed her angelic face.  The outfit was purple, apparently to suggest the color of Vin Fiz.  It was made from satin because Mr. Armour would have nothing but the best.  It was the world’s first female flight suit, and would forever remain her trademark.           


_________________________


The big day came on September 17, 1911.  Cal and Harriet took off from Sheepshead Bay, New York in front of a huge crowd.  The world knew of the flight because Mr. Armour’s media flacks had been courting the press for weeks.  Engine roaring, the Flyer sat in front of dozens of press cameras.  Both pilots had their hands on the controls, hiding the fact that Cal was firmly in control.  What Cal didn’t realize was that compared to the flamboyantly dressed Harriet, he appeared more like the plane’s mechanic than its pilot.  So over the subsequent days, it was Harriet who received most of the press coverage, and she who graced most of the published photos!

Finally the crowd and the press parted enough for the Vin Fiz to go.  Keeping one hand loosely on the controls for appearance sake, Harriet waved sweetly to the crowd as the Flyer gained speed and staggered into the air.

Everything looks different from the air, so at first Cal feared that they were lost on their very first flight!  Finally they spotted the railroad tracks and followed them thru town.  Eventually they found their train sitting at a siding, pointing the way up the track.  Mr. Armour had helpfully painted the train purple, so it stood out from the countryside.  After roaring by the train, it was a simple matter for Cal to follow the tracks toward’s their first day’s planned destination.  The train followed after Mr. Armour and the crew arrived from the takeoff field.

It didn’t take long for things to go wrong.  They had only planned a trip of thirty miles that first day.  Even for the painfully slow Wright Flyer, that was less than an hour’s flight!  But they had only followed those rail tracks five miles past their train when the engine started missing.  At first, Cal tried to keep flying, but the Flyer had other ideas.  The ailing engine simply couldn’t keep the two of them in the air.  Finally, it was clear that they must land.  The best place Cal could find was a roughly plowed field near the tracks.  Even had it been a smooth field, Cal’s hasty landing would have been rough.  As it was, he tore the undercarriage from the plane.

Shaken but unhurt, Cal and Harriet took stock of their situation.  It was an embarrassing mess!   Legions of press and onlookers awaited them at a town fifteen miles up the track, but they all would be disappointed. 

Cal growled at Harriet, trying to find some way to make this disaster her fault.  The best accusation he could make was, “Without your weight in the plane, I might have made it.” 

Her cheeks colored, she sputtered, but then retorted, “Well I’m lighter than you, so it would have been better if I were the only pilot.” 

Now it was Cal’s turn to sputter!

Pressing matters fortunately intervened before the two could come to blows.  Harriet discouraged some curious cows from taste-testing the Flyer while Cal hiked towards the railroad track to flag down the train before it roared on by.

Fortunately, Wright Flyers were simple things.  So the crew fixed it overnight and hauled it to a smooth area for takeoff.  The next day, Cal and Harriet arrived at their first planned destination, albeit a day late.  Their schedule for their flight across the nation was already a shambles!    

Perhaps predictably, engine trouble, rough landings and minor crashes became daily events.  The mechanics slept during the day and worked on the plane all night, but it wasn’t always ready to fly in the morning.  Even the train caused trouble because the tracks had to be kept clear for scheduled trains, causing even more delays.

Grudgingly, but only at Mr. Armour’s stubborn insistence, Cal did finally allow Harriet to learn the controls and assume some flying duties.  The Wright Flyer was a highly unstable airplane, so it needed the pilot’s constant attention.  The controls must be finessed, not jerked.  Without warning the Flyer would sometimes plunge towards the ground.  But if the pilot yanked the controls too enthusiastically, the plane would rear up into the air and lose speed, threatening to stall and crash.  This explains some of Cal’s reluctance to relinquish the controls.

It didn’t help Cal’s attitude that Harriet’s flying skills quickly surpassed his own modest skills, and that whenever they stopped, the press virtually ignored him in favor of her.  This only made him try harder to assert his control over the Flyer, whilst increasing the growing rift between them.

Mr. Armour was delighted when the public was totally taken by Harriet and couldn’t get enough of her.  The press took to calling her “America's First Lady of the Air.”  In the purple-suited young lady, Armour had found the perfect spokesperson for his new drink.  Realizing this, Cal secretly fumed.

Unfortunately, Cal and Harriet weren’t even good at hating each other!   Although neither would admit it, there was a mutual attraction between them.  While not always pleasant to be around, Cal was a handsome man who, though older than Harriet, was remarkably handsome.  It didn’t hurt that he was intelligent, well educated, and moderately rich.

Even if Harriet hadn’t had a beautiful body along with her delicate and youthful face and her flashing dark eyes, Cal would have been attracted to her restless spirit, her needle sharp wit, and her pluck.

It didn’t hurt that in the tight confines of their shared rail car, both Cal and Harriet sometimes couldn’t help but catch glimpses of each other when they were somewhat less than fully clothed.  These little glimpses were just enough to feed their individual fantasies.  It also didn’t lessen Harriet’s attractiveness to Cal that she was the only female on the train!   

What male worth his testosterone could look at young Harriet without wondering what she wore underneath that purple satin flight suit?  Cal certainly thought of such things!  But Cal had seen just enough to know that there were lacy things under those purple pants.  He longed to see her minus that suit!


_________________________

Hopelessly behind schedule, the expedition continued west.  Crashes and breakdowns happened daily.  So far, the pilot’s injuries were confined to bumps and scrapes, but some of their emergency landings were hair-raising. Thanks to their rolling parts warehouse and their expert mechanic, the Vin Fiz Flyer was always quickly patched up. 

But the relationship between the two pilots seemed unrepairable.  In particular, Cal refused to trust Harriet to do even the simplest task, while Harriet insisted on continually challenging Cal’s authority and questioning his decisions.  It was a classic clash between two “type A” personalities.

It didn’t help that the already-marginal performance of the Flyer continually deteriorated as the expedition continued west.  Today, we know that the problem was caused by the thinner air of those higher western terrains, but in 1911 there was still much to be learned about aviation.  Their mechanic installed a new engine hoping for better performance, but the Flyer had increasing trouble staggering into the air carrying the weight of two pilots.  Both pilots knew that the answer was for one of them to stay on the ground, but neither was willing to give up their place.

Increasing everyone’s frustration was that they were so far behind schedule.  Clearly the Flyer couldn’t reach the Pacific ocean within the 30-day deadline to claim Hearst’s $50,000 prize.  Still, everyone remained dedicated to completing the expedition, and public interest remained high.


_________________________


Everything came to a head one morning when three takeoff attempts failed to get them airborne.  With the engine still running, Cal jumped from his seat and walked behind the Flyer to tinker with the engine, leaving the frustrated Harriet at the controls.  With the mechanic, Cal adjusted the engine to try to increase its power.   

When Harriet briefly revved the engine at the men’s order, the Flyer rolled forward slightly.  To Harriet, it felt like the Flyer wanted to go, so she yielded to impulse and gave it full throttle!  Her face set in determination, she accelerated the Flyer across the pasture.  It jerked and bounced as it gained speed.  Harriet would never admit it, but she was frightened.

Horrified, the men yelled and gave chase.  In an amazing sprint, Cal almost caught the Flyer.  His fingers brushed a wing, but couldn’t quite gain purchase.  With one final teeth-rattling bounce, the Flyer left the ground and soared like a bird!         

Unsure what to do next, Harriet circled the field, looking down at the two men gesticulating angrily at her and glancing in wonder at the empty seat next to her.  Harriet wasn’t a person who was prone to indecision, so she made a choice.  To navigate, she only had to follow the railroad tracks west!  So after her second circuit of the field, Harriet waggled her wings and doggedly proceeded, leaving the men and the train behind.  Everybody boarded the train to follow Harriet.  

As Harriet flew, she wondered what to tell Cal.  Should she claim that her takeoff had been an accident?  Stuck throttle perhaps?  Could she could claim that she thought the waving men were gesturing her to fly on to the next stop?  No, Cal wouldn’t accept such drivel. 

No, somehow she must make her peace with Cal!  But how?   Considering that she had just effectively stolen his Flyer, how could she ever gain his trust?   She wasn’t totally oblivious to his lingering glances, so should she appeal to him as a woman?

Pushing those questions from her mind, she settled to the serious tasks of keeping the Flyer in the air, making decent progress west, and then finding a suitable landing field near the tracks.  Then she would face her first solo landing!

As it turned out, Harriet managed to follow the tracks for almost fifty miles before fuel concerns forced her to land.  The train still hadn’t caught up with her, so blessedly she was the only witness to her first awkward and scary solo landing.  As was depressingly normal, the landing wasn’t totally without damage.  Hidden by grass, a rock had broken part of the Flyer’s undercarriage.  The damage was repairable, but it would give Cal another complaint against her, and would end today’s flying.


_________________________


Minutes later, the train arrived at Harriet’s impromptu landing field.  Soon she was surrounded by crew, reporters and photographers.  Cal’s face was thunderous, but in front of the press he was forced to pretend that Harriet’s solo flight had been on purpose.  All too soon however, she found herself alone with him in the lounge of their private rail car.

“If you were my daughter,” he roared, “I’d spank some sense into you, and do it on your bare bottom.  But since you’re not, I want you packed and gone.  You’ve proven that you can fly, but you’ve also proven that you can’t be trusted.”

Harriet’s nimble mind worked furiously!  A thousand ideas flowed simultaneously through her head, some potentially useful, some not.  That remark about “if she were his daughter” struck her as silly.  Cal was older, but not old enough to be her father! 

Still, it made her think... 

Also, she knew that she could always appeal to higher authority in the person of Mr. Armour.  Perhaps fortunately, he was away on other business that day, so she saved that route for possible last-ditch use.

Most importantly, she needed to make peace with Cal, and he had just given her an idea for a possible way for that to happen.  It was an idea that would only work for a woman, but fortunately, Harriet qualified!”

She shed a few tears, and convincingly whined, “Did you mean that Cal?  If I were your daughter you could really spank some sense into me?”

He blustered, stuck out his chest, and pointed, “You’re damn right I meant it.  I’d spank your bottom bright red.  You’d never do anything like that again!”

She faced him directly, her voice carefully modulated halfway between challenge and contrition, “Then do it! Do what a father would do, and then let’s start fresh.  Then you’ll be able to trust me.  You’ll be the undisputed boss, but we could share piloting duties.  The Flyer obviously works better with just one pilot aboard.”

Speechless, Cal stared at her, trying to figure out if she really meant the words she had just uttered. 

Shocked at her own words, Harriet waited breathlessly for Cal’s response.

Now it was Cal’s turn to think furiously.  He sat heavily.  Like most men when it comes to matters regarding women, Cal thought with two heads.  The head that sat atop his shoulders was still in favor or ridding itself of Harriet.  But the smaller head, the one dangling between Cal’s legs, was intrigued with Harriet’s suggestion.  In fact, it stirred itself to ensure that Cal gave it proper attention.   

“Bare bottom?,” Cal clarified, “just like I would spank my...daughter?”

Her heart thudding at both her own audacity and in nervous fear, Harriet nodded, looked at the floor and mumbled, “Yes sir.”   But then she looked him straight in the eye and reiterated, “But then we start new.  You’re the head pilot, but we’re both pilots.”

“It will be embarrassing and painful,” he promised, “and later on, if I don’t like what you do or how you fly, there might be other spankings.”

That was beyond what Harriet had offered, but she decided to take the deal, “Yes sir.”

“You’re serious?  You won’t back out?”

“No sir,” she replied, “I’m honestly sorry that you don’t trust me.  I’ll take my punishment, and then let’s work together.  From now on, you’re the boss. ”

He thought furiously.  What if the press heard the sound of a spanking?  The pilot’s railcar was secure and private, but not soundproof.  Then the answer occurred to him!  Looking out the window, he saw that the crew had pulled the Flyer near the train.  From the open window he yelled at the mechanic that he wanted a long engine test to check for damage.  Puzzled at this unusual order, the mechanic shrugged and complied, starting the noisy engine.  Then Cal closed the window and turned to Harriet.  He found her busily removing her boots.  Gently but firmly, Cal escorted Harriet into his bedroom, a place she had never been before.


_________________________

Still wearing her purple flight suit, her face a picture of contrition, her eyes downcast, Harriet stood before Cal.  His hands shook as he unbuttoned her trousers.  Cal breathed heavily as he lowered her pants and her drawers came into view.  Harriet’s heart thumped as she obligingly stepped out of her trousers. 

Harriet’s lace-lined cotton drawers were modest and baggy by today’s standards, but Cal thought them the most arousing sight ever.  The bottom part of her flight suit gone, Harriet shrugged, and then peeled off her top, exposing a lacy camisole.  Just enough skin showed through the camisole to show Cal that she neither wore nor needed a corset.

Cal couldn’t believe his eyes!  He had always wondered what Harriet wore under her purple flight suit, and now he was looking at it!  But the agreement had been for a bare bottom spanking!  He reached for her drawers, but then hesitated, undecided.

Although no virgin, Harriet had been raised with Victorian attitudes and morals.  She stood amazed, amazed at herself!  She was helping this man remove her clothing!  And he was neither her father nor her husband.  She had even suggested it!  Further, there was more to go.  The final veil must fall.

She saw Cal hesitate, with indecision in his face.  The “deal” that Harriet had made with Cal was that she would accept a bare bottom spanking.  If he didn’t bare her bottom, would that release Cal from his part of the deal?  Harriet didn’t want to risk it!  She was taking this spanking specifically to get the expedition back on track, so she wanted Cal totally committed. 

She had an idea!  “Mr. Rodgers,” she said in a soft tone of voice, “you said it yourself.  You will spank me ‘like a father’.  As my honorary father, it’s perfectly moral for you to bare me for punishment.”

Although the tent in his lap belied any fatherly thoughts, Cal accepted the polite fiction.  Emboldened, he pulled her drawers down past her hips.  Gravity finished the job.  She stepped out. 

She spoke with believable contrition, “I’m honestly sorry Mr. Rogers.  I’ll accept my punishment and then I’ll be trustworthy in the future.  How do you want me?”     

His eyes wide at the amazing sight before him, he patted his lap.

Obediently, Harriet put her slim body into place.  To Cal, she felt light as a feather.  Suddenly unsure, he wondered if she were too fragile to spank.      

Having been regularly spanked in his formative years, Cal was quite familiar with the process, but this was his first time as a spanker.  So it’s no surprise that his first few spanks were tentative.  Harriet’s nervous reaction, jerking and twisting at those first few spanks, unfortunately gave Cal the wrong impression.  But he soon realized that his spanks didn’t sound right, and weren’t causing the proper color change.  So he spanked harder!  This elicited a truer reaction from Harriet.

Finally, Cal felt that his spanks were having the proper effect!  A few of his blows may have been a bit heavy, but he instinctively found the proper force to apply.  Her urgent reactions helped him find the correct tempo.  His eyes drank in the wonder of the color change he was triggering.  He delighted in the kinetic, frantic dance of her thrashing, flattening, and rippling little bottom.

Although she gamely stayed in position through her ordeal, Harriet seemed to lose control over her legs.  First they lifted and fluttered, and then she energetically kicked.  As her kicking escalated, she also splayed widely, treating Cal to sights that he had previously barely dared to imagine.

It was fortunate that the Flyer’s engine was loudly revving near the train, because otherwise the sound of the spanks impacting Harriet’s reddening bottom might have been audible outside the rail car.  Even louder than the spanks, was Harriet’s shrill voice!  Oh she had vowed to grit her teeth and stubbornly remain silent, but that didn’t last.  At first a few sobs escaped her lips, and then Cal’s experimentally harder spanks elicited a few loud exclamations.  Her defenses starting to crumble, she essayed a few loud apologies, which Cal ignored.  Momentarily, and to her horror, she even begged for mercy.  Finally, as she absorbed Cal’s hardest and most determined spanks, she simply wailed.  

Unsure of how long to spank, Cal slowed his pace, considering each spank and carefully targeting specific areas that looked like they could safely absorb more correction.  

This is when Harriet’s motions changed.  Cal noticed that her bottom started moving even between spanks.  Mildly experienced with women, Cal noticed that Harriet’s movements seemed erotic in nature.  Her friction against his own erectness gave him ideas for Harriet that went beyond mere spanking!  Now Cal entirely ceased thinking with his “big head”.  Instead, his “little head” monopolized thinking duties.  Fortunately for Harriet’s bottom, that thinking was no longer about spanking.

A true gentleman would have felt responsible and protective towards Harriet while she was in this vulnerable just-spanked state.  But Cal’s “little head” wasn’t thinking gentlemanly thoughts!  Certainly no gentleman would have probed where Cal’s fingers probed.  To be fair though, it was most unladylike of Harriet to widely open her thighs to facilitate Cal’s exploration. 

Cal’s index finger found a welcoming lubrication.      

The engine test done, the Flyer stopped its roar, but Cal and Harriet were too busy to notice.   


_________________________


The next morning, Cal ordered one seat removed from the Flyer.  The crew started the Flyer’s engine, and Cal took his place at the controls.  In front of the reporters, Harriet stepped to the front of the Flyer, shook Cal’s hand, and then stepped aside with a friendly wave as Cal flew off.  Fortunately, Cal’s flight was successful, so Harriet took her turn that afternoon. The Flyer’s hard seat caused her pain, so her grin was a bit strained as she sat at the controls.  Except for that pain in her ass, Harriet’s flight was also a success.  Between them they progressed nearly 100 miles, their best day ever!

There was 50 pounds difference between Cal’s and Harriet’s weight, so as the terrain got higher, there were days when only Harriet could coax the Flyer off the ground.  But still, the expedition’s progress remained good.

Several times, Cal ordered other evening “engine tests”.  Those evenings, the pilots never emerged from their private rail car until the next morning.  Fortunately, nobody connected those noisy engine tests with the pilot’s improved disposition the following morning!   

Finally the great day came when Harriet flew the Vin Fiz Flyer through Wyoming’s South Pass, the high point of their route.  The Flyer was now past the continental divide!  From there on, the terrain was downhill, so the expedition’s eventual success was assured.  Soon they were able to replace the extra seat on the Flyer and fly together again.

Over these last weeks of the expedition, everybody was curious about why Cal and Harriet had ceased their bickering.  The steward who cared for the pilot’s rail car had immediately noticed when Harriet stopped sleeping in her own bed, and he had heard certain sounds filtering through Cal’s closed bedroom door, but he kept a professional silence. 


_________________________


It was December 10, 1911.  There was a huge crowd on the Long Beach California beach.  Press cameras on wooden tripods dotted the scene.  Photographers draped black cloths over their heads and peered through their lenses hoping for the first glimpse of the Vin Fiz Flyer.  Finally it appeared, a dot on the horizon.  It got closer and closer.  Finally it circled the beach, its engine droning loudly.  The pilots waved at the crowd.  Ignoring Cal as usual, people pointed up yelling, “There’s Harriet”.

Policemen finally pushed the crowd sufficiently back so the Flyer could land on the sand.  Fortunately, the landing went well!  Cal and Harriet waved at the crowd and then turned the Flyer towards the Pacific surf.  Revving the engine one last time, they ceremoniously rolled ahead until the Vin Fiz’s wheels kissed Pacific seawater.  Their first public show of affection, Cal and Harriet embraced and kissed for the cameras.  They had made it!         


The Real Story

The coast-to-coast flight of the Vin Fiz Flyer was a real event what happened much as described in this story, except that Calbraith Rodgers was the sole pilot.  Along the way, he crashed 16 times and was hospitalized at least once.  You can see the Vin Fiz Flyer in the USA’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  There, it resides among the word’s most precious aviation artifacts.

Harriet Quimby was the USA’s first female licensed pilot.  In 1912 she became the first woman to pilot an aircraft across the English channel.  Like Cal, she was involved in promoting the drink “Vin Fiz”, but she didn’t participate in the coast-to-coast flight as depicted in this story.  Harriet was known worldwide for her hooded purple flight suit.  Find her picture on the Internet, and you will see her delicate features and her dark eyes!

Cal and Harriet must have known of each other, but we have no evidence that they ever actually met.  However this is fiction, so anything can happen!

Early aviation was dangerous!   In 1912, both Cal and Harriet died in separate aviation accidents.   



© Guyspencer 2014

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