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Iowa History Daily: May 10 - Arthur Gets Airborne

Iowa History Daily: On May 10, 1910, Iowan Arthur John Harman made the first heavier-than-air aircraft fly in Iowa. An important aviation innovator, Hartman’s legacy flies high in Iowa’s history.

Born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, Hartman ran away at fifteen years old and spent time working at the Illinois Steel Boiler Company in Chicago. Moonlighting at the Goddard Balloon Company as a volunteer, he soloed in a balloon a full three months before the first-heavier-than-air flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903.

In 1907, Hartman built a 67’ long airship which served as a forerunner to his 1910 Hartman Monoplane. A series of innovations saw Hartman form the Hartman-Sellers Airplane Company in 1919 and the later Burlington Airplane Company.

Later in life, Hartman founded the Burlington Municipal Airport and operated a flight school at the location starting in 1927. Even in his later years he kept innovating, and in 1956 Hartman debuted the Hartman Air-Brake in a demonstration featuring 50 hydrogen balloons attached to a pedal-powered propeller. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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