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Baldwin 1910 Red Devil
 
Baldwin-RedDev
Baldwin biplane, first version (USA, 1910)
 
In 1910 Thomas Scott Baldwin designed his own airplane, and it was built by Glenn Hammond Curtiss. It used a 25 horsepower (19 kW), four-cylinder Curtiss engine that was later replaced by a Curtiss V-8 engine.
 
On September 10, 1910 Baldwin made history with the first airplane flight over the Mississippi River. The St. Louis flight started just east of Bellefontaine Cemetery. Baldwin and his Red Devil plane took off at 5:11 p.m. 200,000 citizens lined the riverfront on both sides to watch the red biplane fly from the north St. Louis field and land in Illinois across the river from Arsenal Street. On the return flight, the aviator astounded the crowds by flying under both the Eads and McKinley bridges at fifty miles per hour (80.5 km/hr). Baldwin landed at 6:05 back at his starting place.
 
Baldwin flew it at an air meet in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 7, 1910. He spoke to State University of Iowa engineering students on October 11, 1910 and flew demonstrations at the Iowa City, Iowa fairgrounds on October 12–13, 1910. The flight on October 12 was unsuccessful. On October 13, he flew two flights, one of which was photographed by Julius Robert Hecker. On the second flight he did not gain sufficient altitude and the plane was damaged on a barn but he was uninjured. He then took his airplane to Belmont, New York. He put together a company of aerial performers including J.C. "Bud" Mars and Tod Shriver in December 1910 and toured countries in Asia, making the first airplane flights in many of those locations. The troupe returned to the United States in the spring of 1911.
 
The Philippines can claim south-east Asia’s earliest encounter with manned powered flight, when American aviator James C. “Bud” Mars thrilled spectators in his Skylark pusher biplane (a modified Curtiss design) at the Manila Carnival on February 21, 1911. Mars was part of a Pacific Aviation Exhibition tour organised by fellow American Capt Thomas Baldwin, who followed Mars’s Skylark display at the Carnival with a demonstration of his own Baldwin Red Devil, the pair having arrived with their dismantled aircraft aboard a steamer from Hawaii ten days previously. The exhibition had not gone so well in Hawaii, where the locals had quickly established a principle that has caused headaches for airshow organisers ever since; why pay for a ticket to enter the showground when you can see an air display from any nearby vantage point? The Manila Carnival organisers must have found a way to sidestep this issue, as the pair of aviators made numerous flights during the week-long festival. Baldwin sold his machine before the duo moved on to complete the Pacific tour with visits to Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.
 
The Red Devil was later used by the first flight school in the Philippines, opened by Lt Frank Lahm of the US Army Signal Corps in March 1912.

 

When he returned from the Pacific tour, Baldwin began testing a new airplane at Mineola, New York. The Red Devil III.
 
 
 
 


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