A Homegrown Kitty Hawk [PHIL-OSOPHY]
In 1929, Fairhaven Airport was the busy hub of Sound Airways, Inc. What's that you say? You didn't know that Fairhaven had its own airport? Sound Airways would fly passengers to the nearby islands, much like Cape Air does today.
In 1930, records and photographs show a significant crowd of 25,000 people on hand to view those magnificent pilots in their flying machines at their airshow. There were two runways, forming a perfect "X" on a field most likely named after Sgt. Frank Baylis, the famous WWI flying ace from New Bedford, credited with shooting down 12 enemy planes before getting shot down and dying a hero in 1918.
So if you weren't aware that Fairhaven was home to an active airport, you probably wouldn't know that it was located where Titleist Company is located now, at Mill Road and Bridge Street. If you'd like to dig deeper into this interesting history, reach out to ML Baron, who has a very impressive reservoir of archives, at email@example.com.
Over the years, grazing cows from Cedar Ledge Farms switched places with the air shuttles. As luck would have it, December 17 is declared as Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flight in 1903, near Kitty Hawk, NC.
When I think about how the invention of the airplane changed the world, I philosophize that it shrunk the earth and connected continents and nations that maybe wouldn't have been interconnected otherwise. From their brainchild, brothers Orville and Wilbur also launched the world into the field of aviation and space, and I'd like to think Fairhaven Airfield contributed a tiny part towards it.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.