World’s First Scheduled Commercial  Airline Flight 1914 


Celebrate 100 years kermit Weeks flies Benoist Replica across Tampa Bay Jan 01 2014
St. Petersburg Museum of History. Florida Aviation Historical Society (FAHS)
The worlds first scheduled commercial airline inaugural flight was flown from St. Petersburg across the 21 miles of clear blue water of Tampa bay to Tampa Florida on the morning of January 1, 1914 the pilot was Tony Jannus, flying a Benoist XIV flying boat. The 75 horsepower Roberts engine powered the aircraft above the water for the 22 minute flight without incident as 3000 spectators watched the departure and another 2000 watched the arrival at Tampa. Kermit Weeks the owner of Fantasy of Flight Polk City Florida, and the owner of worlds largest privately owned aircraft collection, will fly his newly built exact replica of the Benoist, on the 100 yr anniversary along the same route at the same time on January 1st, 2014….

CHECK OUT FANTASY OF FLIGHT https://www.facebook.com/fantasyofflight/app_185105078258615


About JR HAFER, 20thCenturyAviationMagazine

I am an aviation writer, I also write and publish reviews for aviation books for authors, pre and post publication. In addition I write freelance projects for aviation magazines and publish articles in various platforms other than my international Blog / website: 20thCenturyAviationMagazine.com/ We have a deep passion for flight and the preservation of the history of the history of the machine and the men and women in which gave us the freedom of flight. Our long term goal is to foster an "Annual Aviation Arthur M. Godfrey Award" ... to a recipient who shows the same passion as we do for the love of flight and preservation of the early history of it... We invite the World to Join us.
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19 Responses to Aviation

  1. Ron says:

    My first time to solo was a great day for me. I had only about 7 hrs or more, and I thought at that time my instructor was going to get out of the Cessna 172 after a few TO’s and Ldgs because I had the feeling this was the day. I did a couple of take offs and landings that I thought were pretty good. I guess he thought they were not good enough. So, it didn’t happen at that time. The following week end the weather was ok, but not that great, and I figured we were going to solo then. No, not that day either. A couple more weeks went by and he wanted me to do some more emergency procedures and other manuevers. Well, the day it did happen (SOLO), I had logged 9.2 hours in my book, at that time, I came out to the airport and preflighted the plane, every thing was in perfect condition. We departed the runway and made one landing. That was the best I had ever done since I started lessons because when the plane touched down, there was NO tire squeel at all. When we taxied back to the runway, he told me to stop halfway back, and then he said the magic words to me. LET ME OUT !!!!!! I told him I was not ready that day, but he said, Yes You Are, Do It. Holly Crap I said and he got out and I was on my way to runway 33 for my SOLO flight. I took off like I always did and made another perfect landing. I had done two more TO’s and Ldgs. and then he called me in and said that was good for the day. I put the plane away and went in the FBO, all the people there were cheering and said I had done a fabulous job. That day I will aways remember. That was in 1976.

  2. rhonda zeagler says:

    Snazzy…more trivia would add to the appeal…Rhonda Zeagler

  3. JR says:

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions. We are currently under construction and are continuing to add material. We are seeking volunteers to help build our website and participate in our blog. If you enjoy all things aviation please let us know we would enjoy and appreciate your help. JRH

  4. Nice blog site, JR. Let’s see how many aviators/ aviation history afficionados come to visit! (You may wish to add a counter.)

  5. Thank you Ron, Please see the First solo page for many other first solo stories that are very interesting. Some are unusual, some are funny, but all are memorable. Thanks again Ron! Ron is an outstanding fellow member of the Florida Aviation Historical Society and a fine pilot and friend.

  6. Holland says:

    If you’re reading this, you’re all set, padrner!

  7. Rumor says:

    Gosh, I wish I would have had that information elraeir!

  8. Deandra says:

    This has made my day. I wish all potsgins were this good.

  9. Kory says:

    I can alerday tell that’s gonna be super helpful.

  10. Fosdick Flyer says:

    Fosdick Flyer: Great site! I’m a pain when it comes to approval distribution. For you though, I’m sad for I have only two thumbs to hoist skyward! Very nice! 🙂

  11. Warren H Donaldson says:

    It is with a heavy heart I read of Janice Voss passing. God rest her soul. She was a couragous woman and a great mentor for all young people.

  12. Oh how planes have changes since this first commercial flight. Love seeing pictures of early airplanes. Hope to own one someday!

  13. Mark Marino says:

    To learn more about the Benoist model XIV check out the Duluth Aviation Institute, building the “Lark of Duluth”. This replica will be flown on the 100th anniversary of it’s arrival in Duluth in June of 1913. It was later modified and brought to St. Petersburg to become the world’s first airliner. The original Benoist model XIV was purchased by two Duluth businessmen Julius Barnes and W. D. Jones, who still owned the aircraft as it made it’s historic flight in St. Petersburg.

  14. JR Hafer says:

    Mark, it would also be interesting to note the “Roberts engine” and how, what and where our readers can learn about the powerplant the Beniost XIV had in it. Do you have the information where we can read about that particular Roberts Engine?
    Thanks, “JR”

  15. Mark Marino says:

    The Roberts used in the Benoist was a quite impressive six cylinder, water cooled, two cycle engine that was rated at 75 hp and put out a lot of torque at a very low rpm. Since there are no original engines available, we at the Duluth Aviation Institue, have elected to focus on the airplane and the historic role it played in Duluth and aviation history. Flying a replica on a regular basis hopefully will be a reminder of how we got where we are today and inspire us into the next 100 years. Follow construction at http://www.duluthaviationinstitute.org, click on Building the Lark.

  16. Thank you for your reply Mark, we are interested in all aspects of the Benoist aircraft of course, including the Roberts engine. Not much is said about the Roberts engine and I appreciate your input about the power plant. Thank you. Can you write more about the LARK and the Roberts engine for us?
    JR Hafer,

  17. Tommy Surles says:

    Thanks for posting the blog, I enjoy reading them, haven’t commented before, but doesn’t mean I don’t read them Thanks for being a friend. Tommy Surles

  18. pilot okulu says:

    It is an important information for aviation general culture. If we say to ourselves aviators, we have to know about aviation deeply. Thank you for informing people.

  19. Thank you for your comments, they make all the difference in the world to us! 🙂

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