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Wiseman, Fred J.
 
Fred J. Wiseman was already somewhat a local hero for his winning record in auto racing; as an exhibition driver for a San Francisco dealership, the 34 year-old Wiseman had raced the powerful Stoddard-Dayton automobiles sold by his boss throughout Northern California and Nevada to much acclaim. But his attendance at the Los Angeles air meet that January cemented his ambitions to take up flying and to build an aircraft with his long-time racing partner and mechanic, Jean Peters (AKA J. W. Peters, Julian Pierre and John Peters). Funding the venture was a $10,000 investment by Ben Noonan, an old Santa Rosa friend and former business partner of Wiseman’s as well as a race champ in his own right, having won the California Grand Prize Race a year earlier (Wiseman came in third). If they succeeded, it would be a sound investment; there was lots of money to be made in exhibition flying in those days. Louis Paulhan was reportedly earning $250,000 a year for appearances, the equivalent of over $6 million today.
 
Working under a tent in a pasture – appropriately, about a mile northeast of today’s Sonoma County Airport – they began assembling the flying machine the pair had started designing in San Francisco. About six weeks later their first test flight occurred.
 
 
 
 


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