Alaskans were introduced to the airplane as early as 1913, when town officials in Fairbanks invited stunt flyers James and Lilly Martin to fly over the local baseball park on July 4. Because many areas are only accessible by air, this enormous state is still defined today by aviation so that aviation and Alaska have formed a very special symbiosis that is unique both in the world of geography and flying. The forty-ninth state has six times as many pilots and sixteen times as many aircraft per capita in comparison to the contiguous United States.
This publication celebrates the 100th anniversary of this remarkable relationship. It looks at aviation through historical photos, artifacts of flight in Alaska and that impressively convey stories of triumph, tragedy and survival. In an extraordinary fashion, they foreshadow the changes flying brought to life on the ground, guiding the reader from the early days through times of war and industrialization, to the beginning of the second century in the air.