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Anniversary of 1st regular airline start

1 January 2016
Poster for the precedent setting St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line—San Diego Air and Space Museum image

70th Anniversary poster for the precedent setting St. Petersburg–Tampa Air Boat Line—San Diego Air and Space Museum image (note that the man third from the right, pointing outward with the flat hat, is Ed Hoffman, Sr. who the artist used as inspiration and who flew the Benoist XIV replica on 1 January 1984 and was President Emeritus of the Florida Aviation Historical Society until his passing).

It has been a century plus two years when Tony Jannus first began piloting paying passengers across Tampa Bay and into the history books. That flight, a hop from St. Petersburg to Tampa, was the inaugural flight of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Air Boat Line. Although scheduled air service previously existed with airships they were nor regularly scheduled in today’s sense and proved ultimately unsuitable as technology progressed—so, 1 January 1914 is considered the first scheduled airline flight by most. The aircraft used was the Benoist XIV Air Boat (flying boat as this aircraft genre later came to be called).

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