Aero Club of Michigan

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(remove duplication sometime)

The Aero Club of Michigan started in early July 1909 at the beginning of Charles J. Glidden's western automobile endurance tour. By 14 July, a temporary had been effected and in December at the club's last meeting of 1909, regular officers were elected. From its beginning, throughout its existence, the club was made up largely of automobile men who became aeronautical enthusiasts. A. Holland Forbes, vice president of the Aero Club of America, visited in early January 1910 and the Aero Club of Michigan was the state's ACA affiliate from at least 1910-1919. The 1916 Guide to Detroit called it a "flourishing organization." A scrapbook at the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, contains photographs of an aviation meet at the Golf Links of the Country Club, Grosse Pointe Farms, 1911, and appears to comprise other information to 1927. Correspondence and other papers of the club are in the Detroit Aviation Society collection at the Detroit Public Library. The DAS's records comprise the years 1916-1938. Library catalog records that in 2011 said the ACM was the predecessor of the DAS no longer indicate such.

The Aero Club of Michigan began in July 1909 when attendees at a banquet before Charles J. Glidden's automobile endurance run from Detroit to Denver and return via Kansas City found themselves moved by Glidden's talk about aeronautics and acted there and then on his suggestion that they form a state club to be affiliated with the ACA. Charter members numbered 33 and by 14 July, a temporary organization had been effected. Its officers included William E. Metzger, pres., Christian H. Heckler, VP, and E. A. Skae, sec-treas. Regular officers were elected in December 1909 at the club's last meeting of the year and included Russell A. Alger, pres., Metzger and Winthrop Wittington, VPs; Roy D. Chapin, treas., and C. B. Ducharme, sec. Members were drawn from several cities in Michigan and by April 1910 neared 200. In March, 1910, after a committee of the club assisted by aeronaut A. Leo Stevens tested the gas in Lansing and Jackson, a decision's was made to locate the club's balloon park in Jackson at Francis and High Streets, adjoining the Michigan Central tracks. The first ascension of the club's own balloon, Michigan, was 26 July 1910. The club engaged a Wright machine piloted by Frank Coffyn for the use of members and friends from 19-21 June 1911.

Affiliated with ACA, 1910 or earlier.


  • 1909 Detroit Free Press, 15 July, 14 Sept., 30 Dec.; 1910 DFP 6 Jan., 18 & 22 Mar., 12 Apr., and 24 & 27 July; 5 Aeronautics 108 (1909); 19 Automobile Topics 1619 (1910); ACA annuals (1910-1917, 1919); 1910 Aircraft, 1 Mar; 1910 NYT 3 June; 1910 Boston Daily Globe, 13, 14, & 16 Aug.; 1911 Aircraft, 1 Aug.; 1912 NYT 29 Dec.; 2:11 Flying 34 (1913); 5 Flying 250 (1916); 6 Flying 498 (1917); 8 Flying 549 (1919); 9 Flying 50 (1920)
  • Goodyear (1919), p. 11
  • Guide to Detroit (Detroit News Company, 1916), pp. 30-31; 13 Commercial Car Journal 6 (1917); and WorldCat-OCLC;;; Dir1920

Organization names Aero Club of Michigan
Entity type
Country US
City Detroit, Michigan
Affiliated with ACA
Scope State
Started aero 1909
Ended aero 1927 ?
Key people
Wikidata id
  • Address: no fixed address (1909-1915?); 1203 Ford Building, Detroit (at least 1916). Field at Francis and High Streets, Jackson (1910- );

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