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Hawaii's first aeronautical event was on 2 March 1889, when Emil L. Melville hung from a trapeze in a balloon. Hawaii's first aircraft flight was on 31 December 1910 by a Curtiss Biplane.[2]

Aviation in Hawaii
Aviation in the United States
Hawaii State Flag
Commercial – primary7
Commercial – non-primary1
General aviation6
Military and other airports7
First flight
2 March 1889 (Lighter than air), December 1910 (Heavier than air)[1]


  • 1913 1st Lt. Harold Geiger operates a Curtiss Model E, and a Curtiss SC out of Fort Kamehameha.[3]
  • 1925 John Rodgers leads a non-stop flight attempt from California to Hawaii in a Naval Aircraft Factory PN.
  • 1927 January - Lewis Hawaiian Tours starts flights between islands in a five-seat Ryan modified from a swept-wing standard.[4]
  • 1927 The Dole Air Derby challenged aviators to fly from Oakland, California to Honolulu. Only two aircraft completed the trip out of a field of eight.
  • 1931 July 26, Lieut John C. Crain establishes a world glider endurance record of 16 hrs 38 minutes aided by searchlights, landing at Kanehoe Bay.[5]
  • 1941 On 7 December, the attack on Pearl Harbor initiated America's declaration of war with Japan.
  • 1949 January - Bill Odom flies a Beechcraft Bonanza nonstop from Waikiki to the Continental U.S. In March the same plane is flown 5273 miles from Waikiki to Teterboro, New Jersey.[6]
  • 1950 On 3 January Pan American Airways completes the first commercial non-stop flight from Tokyo to Honolulu.

Aircraft manufacturersEdit


The Hawaiian Islands are home to scientific research into astronomy, robotics and aerospace technology. Hawai'i is home to some of the world's largest telescopes, and the observatory located near the summit of Mauna Kea, the Big Island. The composition of the volcanic sand on the mountains of Hawaii has nearly the same chemical composition as the Moon. This allows for lunar missions to be tested on Earth first, before leaving the atmosphere. Hawaii is also home to U.S. astronaut Ellison Onizuka, and the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center.[7] At Imiloa is a museum dedicated to exploring and developing the link between Polynesian explorers and space exploration. NASA has announced a lunar research park in Hilo.[8] The University of Hawaii has provided volunteers for these missions in the past through PISCES.[9] The University of Hawaii has held student design competitions for models for space colonization.


Commercial serviceEdit

Hawaiian Airlines is the largest locally operated airline. The airline started service on 6 October 1929 as Inter-Island Airways with a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker. Go! Mokulele which is a joint venture between Mesa Airlines and Republic Airways Holdings also provides inter-island service.


Government and militaryEdit

All flight operations in Hawaii are conducted within FAA oversight. The Hawaii Air National Guard was activated in 1946.[10] The Honolulu Police Department started air operations in 1970. It currently operates two MD520 NOTAR helicopters.[11]




  1. ^ Rebecca Maksel (October 2014). "Hawaii by Air A new exhibit gives a rich account of the state's aviation history". Air & Space Magazine.
  2. ^ "J.C. "Bud" Mars". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. ^ "1879-1919 Aviation in Hawaii". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Aloha". Sport Aviation. June 1967.
  5. ^ Popular Aviation: 93. December 1931. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Air & Space. August 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center
  8. ^ Lunar Research Park in Hilo
  9. ^ PISCES
  10. ^ "Hawaii's Guard is Up". Flying Magazine. August 1954.
  11. ^ "HPD Helicopter". Archived from the original on 18 September 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.