Back-To-Back Aviator Birthdays

Two great Chicago-based aviators celebrate back-to-back birthdays  this week.  Today is Octave Chanute's 181st b-day.  February 18, 1832.  Some of Chanute's aviation highlights are listed below (more on the other great aviator at the end of this note):

1.  Mentor to the Wright Brothers,
2.  Namesake of Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul Illinois,
3.  Authored "Progress in Flying Machines" in 1894, the Aviation Bible of its time,
4.  Honored on two USPS Airmail Stamps,
5.  Depicted on The Frieze of American History in the US Capitol rotunda in Washington DC,
6.  Recipient of a gold medal awarded by The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain,
7.  Inductee in The National Aviation Hall of Fame and The International Aerospace Hall of Fame.

All this, in addition to building railroads and bridges across America while encouraging his civil engineering profession to better the world, by sharing its knowledge far and wide.

That other Chicago-based aviator?  You may have heard of him.  He has been written and spoken about in aeronautic terms for decades.  Terms like; liftoff, hover, vertical, bomber, airborne, glide, in-flight movies...........BUT without airmen pioneers, such as Chanute, he would not have the great descriptive nicknames that he is known by;  His Airness, Flight 23, Air Jordan.

Happy 50th, MJ.  February 17, 1963.


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