From 23 minutes to a shrinking world

aviation, aviation history

Benoist_xiv

100 years ago today a 23 minute flight started an industry that has changed the world. The Benoist Airboat Model XIV #43 (pictured at the left) took off from the municipal pier in St. Petersburg Florida and landed 23 minutes later in Tampa.  The flight reached only 50 feet in altitude.

Perry Fansler founder of the fledgling “St. Petersburg – Tampa Airboat Line” was quoted before the Flight:

“The airboat line to Tampa will be only a forerunner of great activity along these lines in the near future….what was impossible yesterday is an accomplishment of today – while tomorrow hearlds the unbelievable.”

Few would argue that Mr. Fansler’s words were indeed prophetic.  Today we take commercial aviation mainly for granted.  This infographic from IATA provides some incredible numbers.

 

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3 billion people a year board a commercial flight.  A long, long way from a short, short flight.