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Central Yacht Basin

Location: St Petersburg, FL, USA
Creator(s): Benoist, Tom , Fansler, Percival

The St. Petersburg Yacht Basin was the original operating location of the St. Petersburg – Tampa Airboat Line, the nation’s first, regularly-scheduled commercial airline. The line’s inaugural flight was on January 1, 1914, with two daily, round-trip flights between St. Petersburg, Fla., and Tampa, Fla., using two Benoist Type XIV airboats. The flights were twenty-two minutes in length, one way, and rarely exceeded an altitude of five feet above the waters of Tampa Bay. By the time the line ceased operations on May 5, 1914, its two planes had made 172 flights and carried 1,205 passengers, prompting line co-owner Thomas W. Benoist of St. Louis, Mo., to note that while the line had not made much money, it had proven that “the airplane can be successfully used as a regular means of transportation and [as a] commercial carrier.”

Tags: Era: 1910-1919
Innovation designated by:
Central Yacht Basin
Courtesy of the Collections of Bjorn Larrson/David Zekria
Central Yacht Basin
St. Petersburg Museum of History
335 2nd Avenue Northeast
St Petersburg, FL, USA

St. Petersburg Museum of History

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