Coey & Bumbaugh's Airplane

This article originally appeared in the January 30, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The article is a small item but more evidence of the level of interest in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a viable aviation center in the early days of aeronautics. In the early days Speedway management were men of vision and worked to position the track as a multi-purpose facility. They saw the burgeoning interest in aviation as a logical fit. Indeed it was during these early days that engines between cars and airplanes were many times seen as interchangable.
Charles E. Coey, a Chicago-based pioneer aviator who had competed in the the Speedway's first organized competition - the June 1909 national balloon event - was interested in procuring an airplane as well as a new balloon. According to this article he secured the services of noted aeronaut "Captain" George Bumbaugh, an Indianapolis-based air travel enthusiast to design and build the equipment for him. The balloon is described as "regulation air racing size" at 22,000 cubic feet capacity.
He requested that the airplane be completed by early spring so he could take lessons from Bumbaugh and master flying the vessel in short order. He expected to utilize the Speedway to both house his plane and receive his training. As an aside, Coey's wife made history as the first woman to ascend from the Speedway in a balloon. No one will ever take that away from her.

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