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USN Flight 19
Melvin Vaniman and Kiddo
The first cat to cross the Atlantic by air was the diminutive Kiddo, shown here with Melvin Vaniman, chief engineer of the airship America, which took off from Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 15, 1910. “Initially,” says Janus, “[Kiddo] didn’t enjoy the experience, howling piteously and upsetting the airship’s chief engineer. The America was the first aircraft to carry radio equipment, and Vaniman ordered a wireless message sent to [owner Walter] Wellman’s secretary back on shore — so the historic first radio communication from an aircraft in flight reads: Roy, come and get this ******* cat.” Kiddo soon adapted, however, and spent a semi-content 71 and a half hours in flight. After his experience, Kiddo was briefly displayed in Gimbel’s department store on plush cushions, before completely retiring from aviation to live with Wellman’s daughter.
C-130 Fire Bomber, Oshkosh 2019.
G-FDZZ TUI Airways - Marc Anthony Aviation
United Airlines Boeing 737 CFM56 engine. San Francisco Airport 2019. [OC] 5499 X 5072
Concorde engine test facility.
Shea Oakley has been a commercial aviation enthusiast since childhood. He first joined the World Airline Historical Society (WAHS) in 1983 at age 15 and in 1987 was co-founder of the Tri-State Airline Historical Society. He has written feature articles on U.S. airline history for Airliners Magazine and NYCAviation.comand and is the Managing Editor for the Captain’s Log, the quarterly journal of the WAHS. Shea joined the staff of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of NJ in 2001 and was the museum’s Executive Director from 2006-2018. His latest project is The Commercial Aviation History Consultancy, devoted to fact-checking and commentary for commercial aviation projects in every form of media. www.linkedin.com/in/sheaoakley
United Airlines 2004 Boeing 757-300 N75858 c/n 32817 in the rain. San Francisco Airport 2019.