WWI Era Biplane and Dirigible U.S. Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida Photographs
The U.S. Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, was the only naval air station operational upon the United States' entry into WWI in April 1917. In the years leading up to the war they were testing and modifying the N-9 plane which had been converted into seaplanes. They also had one of three of the first blimps, the E-1. *See more history below.
560 N-9s were built during WW1. These images show some of the earliest N-9s (including number 369 that crashed into the gulf waters), the E-blimp and later versions of seaplanes. There are images that show a combination of planes, blimps, a full masted ship or sail boat as well as the hangars and aerial views of the Pensacola Air Station.
These images are a historical collection of early Naval Aviation going into WWl and would be a great addition to any serious collection of early aviation or WWl naval history.
*Although the consensus in early 1917 among aviators and even the N-9’s manufacturer was that the N-9 could not be looped, the early pioneering U.S. Marine Corps aviator Francis Thomas Evens, Sr. believed it was possible. On February 13, 1917 he flew an N-9 over the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, Florida, and began attempts to loop it. He succeeded on his fourth try, becoming one of the first persons ever to loop a seaplane. Lacking witnesses, he flew over Naval Air Station Pensacola and repeated the feat.
*As they were testing the planes there were several crashes into the waters of the gulf and resourceful sailors used spare parts to manufacture additional airplanes.