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First Shot Fired from an Airplane

Lt. Fickel demonstrates how he fired the first shot from an airplane. The man at the controls for this historic photograph was Charles F. Willard, a Curtiss pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Fickel demonstrates how he fired the first shot from an airplane. The man at the controls for this historic photograph was Charles F. Willard, a Curtiss pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The first shot fired from an airplane occurred on Aug. 20, 1910, at Sheepshead Bay race track near New York City. With Mr. Glenn Curtiss piloting, Lt. Jacob E. Fickel fired a rifle at a 3-foot-by-5-foot target from an altitude of 100 feet. The next month, Lt. Fickel and Mr. Curtiss repeated the experiment in Boston, Mass., this time using an Army semi-automatic pistol.

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