100 Years Of Naval Aviation Celebrated This Summer

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All summer long, events around the country will honor the 100th anniversary of the start of naval aviation. The centennial marks the U.S. Navy's first purchase of an aircraft, a Curtiss seaplane, in 1911. Celebrations will take place this month during Marine Week in St. Louis and at the Rhode Island Air National Guard Air Show; in July, events are set for Rochester, Detroit, and Seattle, as well as EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh; and in August and September, events are planned for North Dakota, San Diego, Memphis, and more. Details for all events are listed at the Centennial of Naval Aviation web site.

Along with the Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and NASA are participating in the commemoration. The Blue Angels' appearance at a June 11-12 event in Evansville, Ind., has been cancelled, but the Navy has not yet released the team's schedule for the rest of the summer. Several appearances have been scrubbed since the team's commanding officer stepped down after flying a lower-than-normal maneuver in May.

Recently, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spoke with photographer Erik Hildebrandt about a book he produced for the centennial; click here to view the video report.