Fisher Airplane Factory Ambitions

This article originally appeared in the January 22, 1910 Indianapolis Star. It is further evidence of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher's borderline obsession with early airplanes and aviation. In his incurable propensity to start businesses (the Speedway, Prest-O-Lite, Empire Automobile, Real Estate and so much more) he was reportedly trying to find investors to help him create an airplane manufacturing company. Fisher is quoted in the article as saying that he procured the services of Q.B. Noblitt to develop the airplanes. I have no information on Noblitt but he is noted in the article as having designed an engine. Fisher's ballooning mentor George Bumbaugh is mentioned as a potential test pilot.
Among the rumored investors were "two or three" of the Indianapolis-based automobile manufacturers. Interestingly George Robertson, the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup winner and one of the most prominent race drivers of the day, is mentioned as a potential New York area dealer of the Fisher plane. Another gentleman by the name of Eward McDuffy is noted as on board to market the planes through a Denver-based dealership. Two miniature models - one bi-plane and the other monoplane - had been created for illustration. Fisher's goal was to enter the market at a lower price point to the consumer at $2,000. Established competitors like Wright, Curtiss and Bleriot sold their products in the $6,000 to $7,500 range.
The article also discusses the push by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to host the international aviation show. The Aero Club of America was asking for a guarantee of $75,000 in ticket sales for a venue to be considered as host. Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross was reportedly working with local business leadership to commitment to volume ticket purchases to establish the guarantee. The Speedway would fail to attract the international event but would forge ahead with an aviation event of their own creation.

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