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Aviation in North Dakota facts for kids

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Aviation in North Dakota
Aviation in the United States
North Dakota
North Dakota State Flag
Commercial – primary 5
Commercial – non-primary 3
General aviation 45
Other public-use airports 37
Military and other airports 2
First flight
19 July 1910

Aviation in North Dakota takes place around the state's 89 public airfields, including 8 commercial airports. Notable North Dakota aviators include Carl Ben Eielson, Bruce Peterson, and James Buchli.

North Dakota's first aeronautical event was the flight of a Wright Model B on July 19, 1910, at the Grand Forks Air Meet flown by Wright Exhibition Team member Archibald Hoxsey.

Lucky Bob and a drawing of his airplane, 1911.


NASM - Wright Model B - reproduction
A Wright Model B on display
  • June 9, 1911 a Curtiss Biplane named "Sweetheart" flew at the Fargo Fairgrounds before an audience of 12,000 spectators piloted by Robert "Lucky Bob" St. Henry
  • July 12, 1911 Thomas McGoey flies the first North Dakota designed and built aircraft, the Kenworthy-McGoey flying machine at Grand Forks.
  • July 1916 Bismarck, North Dakota has its first flight.
  • 1928 North Dakota native Carl Ben Eielson, along with Hubert Wilkins become the first men to fly across the Arctic Ocean.

Aerospace Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

  • Cirrus Aircraft, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • 1911-1911 Kenworthy-McGoey Aviation Company. Founded to produce and demonstrate aircraft.
  • The Boughton Flying Machine Corporation lost its prototype in 1916.



  • Fargo Born James Buchli flew aboard four Space Shuttle Missions


  • The North Dakota Aviation Council comprises six organizations promoting aviation in North Dakota.



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