hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:54:34 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
table anchor table anchor table anchor
Alberta's Aviation Heritage
spacer    Home   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Partners   |   Sitemap spacer
spacer History, Planes, People and Virtual Heritage
Quicklinks

Barnstorming

Ascensions

Quicklinks

Search Database Collections

Alberta Aviation Museum Tour
 

Ascensions

Riding Balloons

Jack Dallas ascended in J. Strobel's airshipTo many in the early years in Alberta, the first glimpses of flight occurred at local summer fairs, where those attending had a chance to see balloons ascend, and in some cases, the pilots parachute back to the ground. Among the first reports of these demonstrations was the exhibition presented to fair goers in Edmonton, in June 1906. Professor R. Cross had arrived to ascend in his balloon and then parachute back down. But, as in many cases in these early days, the flight did not go as he had hoped. The balloon was ready to go at 7 p.m., steadied by a group of men. When Cross stood on a trapeze below and gave the signal, they let go. The balloon rose quickly, but soon began to descend. Cross could not release himself and went down with the balloon, which landed on the roof of a house near McKay School.

Cross successfully completed a number of ascensions in the following days, but the winds pushed his balloon dangerously toward the North Saskatchewan, threatening to damage the aircraft in the trees near the river, and to possibly force him and the balloon into the water. He refused to carry on more flights under those wind conditions.

A week later, Professor Williams carried out a similar demonstration, ascending on a trapeze below a balloon and parachuting back down. Everything was going as expected until Williams fell into the Elbow River below.

Captain Jack Dallas in Calgary

Flights of Strobel's air shipDuring the summer fair of 1908 in Calgary, visitors were able to see the flight of a 183-metre long dirigible owned by the American J. Strobel, and piloted by Captain Jack Dallas. The flights over the city showed that a dirigible could be controlled in different wind conditions. The dirigible was inflated with highly explosive hydrogen. On 4 July, the hydrogen exploded while being filled on the ground, causing the death of one bystander and the injury of others, including Bert Hall, an assistant working on the dirigible that day. 
 

divider
spacer    Copyright © 2004 Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved spacer
Alberta's Aviation Heritage

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on aviation in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Communty Foundation All Rights Reserved