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Monday, January 25, 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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AmeriCorps members to help fight pandemic

This is ‘an opportunity to re-examine how we deliver health,’ U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said, noting he has five AmeriCorps members serving in his office.

Snow, sleet make for a hazardous weather outlook

The storm is huge, hitting the Plains, the mid-Atlantic and the gulf, so the big question is which areas get the nasty precipitation and which get rain.

Here’s how tech is being used to reduce the pain of Restore the Corridor

Small devices and a lot of technology are being used to ease travel when I-95 is redone through Wilmington. You can help, too.
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