Harry Atwood lands his Wright Model B in Upper Nyack!

- August 24, 1911 -

     Harry Atwood (1884-1967) was trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an electrical engineer, but he left his business near Boston to learn how to fly at the Wright Flying School on Huffman Prairie in Dayton Ohio. He became a proficient pilot and within three months of his first lesson made a record-breaking 461-mile flight from Boston to Washington DC, landing on the White House lawn. On August 14th he took off on another record setting 1,256-mile flight from St. Louis to Governors Island in New York.

     On the last leg of his journey from Cold Spring NY, he developed engine trouble about 30 minutes into his flight. With the engine quickly losing power, he was able to set the aircraft down in the Village of Upper Nyack on W. D. Davies' orchard near Hook Mountain, north of Lexow Avenue and west of Broadway. Luckily a local machinist was able to repair the connecting rod bearings that failed and Nyack residents were also lending a hand cutting down trees at the end of the field to give Harry a little more elbow room for take off. On the initial startup the engine backfired, starting a small fire near the fuel tank but it was quickly extinguished. After all this he was able to take off and continue his flight to Governors Island on August 25th.



Wright Model B Specifications

Empty weight: 950 lbs.
Wingspan: 38 feet, 6 inches
Take-off speed: 27 mph
Cruising speed: 40 mph
Engine: 35 horsepower 4-cylinder water-cooled Wright engine
Propellers: Twin counter-rotating 8 foot 6 inch propellers

A view down the 'runway' at Davies' orchard.

Click here to to read the New York Times article about Harry's flight from August 26, 1911.