Intro Lesson Aviation
We replicated most of John Curran’s aviation trip for the girls trip this week: from lighter-than-air travel to propellor-driven biplanes to Rochester’s very own Tuskegee Airman, we provided hands-on demonstrations to memorably convey the importance of these events in Rochester’s history.Words of the Day epaulette
(Fr. epaule = shoulder; epaulette = little shoulder)
General Fitz-John Porter, pioneer of balloon reconnaissance, wore epaulettes on his military uniform.
(L. avis = bird)
Aviation is the practice of flying aircraft.
Early balloonists used lighter-than-air gas (like sulfuric acid mixed with iron filings to produce hydrogen). General Fitz-John Porter used this technology during the Civil War for reconnaissance since it’s easier to see where the enemy is from a high vantage point. At the club we demonstrated how a ground crew worked together to launch and retrieve the manned balloon. We then rode to Camp Fitz-John Porter along the Genesee to take photos.
Rochester’s former airfield is on the site of the current Strong Hospital. We put on our own airshow with balsa wood planes to see who could go the farthest.
The last stop was the Mount Hope Cemetery where John had discovered the unmarked grave of Theodore Lancaster, Rochester native and Tuskegee Airman. Lt. Lancaster’s body was returned to Rochester at the time of his death in Alaska, but he had no remaining family to pay for a headstone. We saw the flowers that were planted on the boys trip and the girls spent time exploring the cemetery and taking photos.
We kept the remnants of one of our balsa wood planes for our trophy case.
John’s supplemental photos for the ride are seen here.
This trip was on July 28, 2011
Trip distance: 5.5 miles
Programming time: 2.5 hours
Participants: Amarylis Balestier, Jenna Cook, Rayauna Goodman, Chaunny Joyner, Brianna Lundy, Rayonna Nichols, Harmony Scott, Auretta Scott
Leaders: Shawn Brown, Cappy Collins, Sara Morrison