William A. Schoneberger - California Wings - A History of Aviation in the Golden State
A comprehensive history of California aviation beginning in San Francisco with Frederick Marriott's Aviator Hermes, Jr., America's first successful dirigible. California has enjoyed a colorful and rich aviation history dating back to the days of 1849 when Rufus Porter developed a scheme to take anxious argonauts to the gold fields from New York in three days via a cigar shaped aerial locomotive. According to author William A. Schoneberger, the Golden State has contributed more to aviation history than perhaps any other region of the world because of its favorable climate, enterprising people, and openness to new ideas. Many aviation firsts took place in California such as the first airship flight (1869), first glider (1883), and first international aviation meet (1910) to name just a few. As well, the state has been blessed with more than its share of aerial heroes including John Joseph Montgomery, Glenn Martin, Glenn Curtiss, Donald Douglas, Lawrence Bell, Jack Northrop, Charles Lindbergh, Cal Rodgers, Wiley Post, Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes, Jackie Cochran and Chuck Yeager. All were linked in one way or the other with California.