Aeroguide 23: Republic Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II by Roger Chesneau

By Roger Chesneau

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Initially ignored or mocked, their invention was now celebrated as a great patriotic achievement, the latest evidence of national pioneering and ingenuity. ”14 Although the French had appreciated the Wrights’ achievement more quickly than had their own fellow citizens, Americans now represented their flights as evidence of the United States’ superiority over Europe in aviation. ” The Wrights’ own publicity materials contributed to this nationalist narrative by emphasizing that their airplanes were products of American resources and labor.

Undeterred, Mitchell continued to proselytize for airpower, pressing his case to Congress and to the public even at the expense of his career. In 1926, he resigned from duty after being court-martialed for insubordination. But Mitchell had succeeded in winning key military allies—notably Henry H. S. Army Air Forces during World War II—who subsequently took up his cause. S. aviation posed a threat to national security. ” The idea that the airplane was America’s birthright—“a distinct advance in civilization given to the world by America,” stated a 1918 NACA report—pervaded discourse on aviation during the early 1920s.

Aviation on both sides of the Atlantic. ” It would need something bold and unprecedented: a flight around the world. S. Army Air Ser vice Worldwide fl ights had been imagined long before they were possible. ” Harry F. ” Billy Mitchell kept a globe in his Washington office, which he used to demonstrate how airpower made possible (and, in his view, required) an expansion of the United States’ defensive perimeter. Mitchell would lead visitors to the globe, Hap Arnold recalled, and then “run his finger from Alaska down to Natal, off the coast of Brazil, then up to the islands at the mouth of the St.

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