On This Day In Alabama History: Donald Beatty Made His First Solo Flight

| June 16, 2017 @ 5:00 am

By Graydon Rust
Alabama 200

June 16, 1916

Aviator, explorer and inventor Donald Beatty made his first solo flight in a small plane he built using a motorcycle engine in Tarrant. An expert in radio technology, Beatty installed the first voice radio stations in Alabama, obtained numerous patents and constructed the first-ever system for air-to-ground voice communications. In 1931, he led an expedition into the Ecuadorian Amazon that captured the first photographs and video recordings of the native Jivaro people, known as head-hunters, earning a fellowship with the Royal Geographical Society. He was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in 1992.

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