Recreating the Historic Fowler Gage


The Fowler Gage bi-plane was the first airplane to fly form the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.  The 52-mile flight over the Isthmus of Panama took nearly two hours and was documented by an on-board movie camera.

The film captured the first aerial images of the construction of the Panama Canal and details of the military defensive fortifications protecting it.  This prompted the federal officials to arrest Fowler along with fellow member and camera operator, Ray Duhem, upon their return to the United States.  Fowler and Duhem along with their sponsor, Sunset Magazine were exonerated of knowingly divulging military secrets.  Their feat probably represented the first time an aircraft was utilized for significant aerial surveillance

The Fowler Gage is of such historic significance that it is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum.  While this aircraft is on loan to the Hiller Aviation Institute and Museum through mid-2004, a set of accurate plans will be created so an exact replica of this historic, Northern California airplane can be built in our Restoration Shop and placed on permanent display.

It is estimated the recreation of the Fowler Gage will take approximately 14,000 volunteer hours.

Underwriting opportunity:

Materials (wood and hardware)                  

Fabric covering and finish $30,000
OX5 engine $30,000
Research and drawing up plans $5,000
Propeller $2,500




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