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Thursday, April 15, 2021

TSD History Corner: Delaware Takes Flight

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Folks, George J. Frebert in his book, Delaware Aviation History, wrote about the exploits of Richard C. duPont {1911-1943}. Richard duPont earned his pilot’s license in 1930. His older brother, A. Felix duPont, Jr. gave his brother, Richard, his first airplane ride. Richard duPont was in his element when he flew a glider. Frebert wrote that Richard was one of the few who could perform acrobatics flawlessly in a glider.

He served as president of the Soaring Society of America from 1937 through 1939. On September 11, 1943 Richard duPont while on a test flight of an Army Air Force experimental glider that experienced difficulty that caused the ballast load to shift. The glider went into a flat spin and Richard managed to bail out. Moreover, due to the low altitude his parachute failed to deploy and he was killed.

Richard duPont posthumously received several honors. On November 15, 1944, he was awarded the Evans Glider Trophy for the greatest individual contribution to glider development.

The Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory dedicated the Richard C. duPont Memorial Room for his contribution to aeronautical science. To top it off, his family was presented by General Hap Arnold the Distinguished Service Medal that was signed by President F.D. Roosevelt for Richard’s exceptional and meritorious service to our Republic.

A scholium: Mr. Frebert also included in his book that in the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci invented the “airscrew,” a.k.a “propeller,” and three different types of parachutes. In his attempt to develop a hand-held glider he broke his back in testing one of them. Leonardo conceptualized a self-powered flying machine that could achieve both lift and thrust with flapping wings and named his contraption “Ornithopter.”

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Folks, Giuseppe Mario Bellanca {1886-1960} was born in Sicily. As a young boy, he was enthralled with the ability of birds to sustain flight through the invisible air.

In 1908, he earned a teaching certificate in mathematics in Milan. He earned additional degrees at the Politecnico di Milano in mathematics and engineering. It was at this institute that he concentrated on the efficiency of marine propellers.

(I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit to George Frebert, because I harvested most of these facts from his big book, Delaware Aviation History. Frebert’s book was big in size and bigger in facts.)

Giuseppe immigrated to the United States in 1911 and joined his brother, Carlo,who lived in Brooklyn, New York. He taught himself how to fly and in 1914 he opened up a flying school. One of his first students was a young lawyer, Fiorello La Guardia{1882-1947}, who would later become a WWI bomber pilot and the mayor of New York City.

It was due to the efforts of Henry Belin DuPont {1898-1970} that Bellanca moved his operation to Delaware in 1927.

H. duPont died as a result of the ravage of leukemia.

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Today’s TSD History Corner comes from Alex F. Wysocki, who is a Veteran of WWII, served in the Pacific Theater and was part of the original occupation of Japan. He has a passion for the history of state he was born in, Delaware.

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Long lines started last night at state parks to grab surf tag vouchers

Across several Facebook groups,  people posted about long lines and the excitement and disbelief at the surf tag craze.

How Winterthur handles pests (and how you can, too)

Winterthur follows an integrated pest management policy, meaning that it doesn’t use pesticides. ‘In lieu of chemicals, we vacuum a lot,’ its expert said.

Delaware libraries give soundproof booths a trial run in Sussex

The wheelchair-accessible booths are equipped with computers to allow people to access telehealth services, online job interviews or even legal appointments.
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- Thank you to our sponsor -

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