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The world's first commercial airline

On Jan. 1, 1914, the world's first scheduled passenger airline service took off from St. Petersburg, FL and landed at its destination in Tampa, FL, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) away. The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line was a short-lived endeavor — only four months — but it paved the way for today's daily transcontinental flights. ( More...

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Learned about Tony Jannus and the first flight while living in LAL. You can't wander around TPA airport without at least hearing about him and the flight.
coinflyer 9
What a fascinating story! Does any Benoist Model 14 airboat still exist today?
There's one in the State of Iowa Historical Building. Plus a couple of replicas.
coinflyer 3
Oh man that's great!! I'm happy to hear that as so much of our aviation history has been lost (think Boeing's 314 Clipper). Thank you. I will make it a point to visit next time I get around to that part of the country.
T Walbolt 3
Yes, St. Pete Museum of History
D. W. 4
As others have said: great story. And the pics aren't too shabby, either. The vignette about setting down in mid-flight to adjust the engine, and then just getting on with it? The best!

Imagine if they (the pilot and the owner) wanted to try it today: they'd be micro-managed into Tampa Bay by dozens, if not hundreds, of self-important little bureaucrats.
Michael Walsh 2
Check out Kermit Weeks attempt to recreate the Benoist. He spent a ton in a gallant effort. He’s quite a guy!!
T Walbolt 2
The flights also carried mail, so it was the beginning of Air Mail.
Martin Duley 1
Perhaps after QANTAS
I'm pretty sure Qantas was the world's first commercial airline.
William Lucas 3
Qantas's first flight was in March 1921.
QANTAS is the oldest airline in the world _which is still operating_. Founded in 1920.
Half of the passengers were detained for trying to carry on weapons, twenty-five percent for in cabin disturbance, and the rest were skyjacked to Cuba. LOL


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