The Daring Mr. Moisant
The most celebrated American aviator of 1910 took up flying as an act of revenge.
- By Gavin Mortimer
- AirSpaceMag.com, December 30, 2010
Library of Congress
(Page 3 of 3)
Where Moisant met his end was later transformed into land for cattle, and the owners named them the Moisant Stock Yards in honour of the aviator. Later they sold the 1,360 acres to the New Orleans authorities, who turned them into an airfield called Moisant’s Field by 1946, when the city’s first commercial air service began. In 2001 it became the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
So next time you see the letters MSY on your flight tag, spare a thought for John Moisant, the most visionary man in American aviation a century ago. Shortly before his death he was asked by a reporter if he seriously believed the aluminum airplane had a future. “That’s one of the greatest troubles with airplanes today, and the reason they are not safer and a greater commercial possibility,” replied Moisant. “Their construction is too frail and there are too many wires and the wings are too flimsy. Would you expect an automobile to be safe if it had a canvas body and a lot of little wires to work it by?”