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National Aeroplane Fund

Note: This item is currently in storage.

The National Aeroplane Fund was sanctioned by the Aero Club of America in response to perceived military and political disinterest in aeronautics. Established in summer 1915, the group lobbied Congress to increase funding for military aeronautics and independently instituted programs to develop aviation in the National Guard and to form a civilian aviation reserve.

This privately funded initiative promoted aviation progress by paying to train National Guard officers at civilian aviation schools and by covering expenses for aircraft to participate in military maneuvers in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. 

National Aero Fund Letter, July 29, 1915
This letter was written to Capt. Leroy Hall of the Vermont National Guard by Alan Hawley, President of the National Aeroplane Fund. It describes the various aeronautical demonstrations planned for the Vermont National Guard in August 1915. The National Aero Fund provided the airplane and pilot for the experiment, early bird aviator George A. Gray.   

George A. Gray at Fort Ethan Allen, August 1915
National Aeroplane Fund member George A. Gray and his Wright "HS" airplane, on maneuvers near Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., in August 1915. This event marked the first time aircraft were included in the training of National Guard troops.

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