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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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Bombing Tests

When powered flight was invented in 1903 by the Wright brothers, and the efforts of the Aerial Experiment Association developed critical mechanisms needed to control powered flight, many still did not believe that aircraft could contribute much as a weapon. Curtiss Golden Flyer

To test if aircraft had any military value, Glenn Curtiss started to experiment with bombing runs in June 1910 using his Golden Flyer. His military experiments continued on 20 August 1910 near New York City at the Sheepshead Bay Racetrack when Lieutenant James Fickel fired a gun at a target at one hundred feet away while flying on a Golden Flyer piloted by Glenn Curtiss.

Other experiments included taking off from a warship, firing a machine gun while in flight, and landing on a platform on a warship using Curtiss-like biplanes or Wright Flyers in late 1910 and early 1911.

As the First World War approached in 1914, aircraft were viewed as a potentially effective tool for reconnaissance, and some minor bombing and gunnery. They later proved they would play a much more crucial role.

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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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