Hawaii’s First Airplane Flight

In December 1910, Honolulu was abuzz about the first airplane flight in Hawaii. People bought tickets to watch it, and The Pacific Commercial Advertiser gave orphans free tickets. The Hawaiian Star reports, “Nearly all Honolulu is going to Moanalua this afternoon, and the birdmen will fly, it is announced, rain or shine.” Pilot James “Bud” Mars was asked if he was going to fly with a passenger, but he wouldn’t because of Moanalua’s difficult terrain.

On December 31, 1910, Mars dazzled 3,000 onlookers as he flew his brand-new, never-flown Diez-Shriver biplane over them in Moanalua field and between hills. Mars navigated through “rough” air, as winds came in puffs. The audience’s spontaneous applause and the airplane’s engine noise could be heard.

Afterwards, Mars wondered if it was safe enough to fly: “I have absolutely no right to even make an attempt today. The conditions are much the same as yesterday but what you people feel here from the wind is not two-sixths of what is above there [between the hills of Moanalua].”

However, he told The Hawaiian Gazette, “I find your Hawaiian air currents rather tough ones, but everything else was lovely.”

Read more about Hawaii’s first airplane flight in the following articles.

– Alice Kim

Articles from Chronicling America

“Biplane Put Together Yesterday at Moanalua, Ready for First Flights in Hawaii”
Hawaiian star, December 29, 1910, SECOND EDITION, Page 6

“Bud Mars Won’t Take Up Ladies: Aviator Says Maneuvering around Moanalua Hills Is Too Dangerous”
Evening bulletin, December 29, 1910, 3:30 EDITION, Image 1

“Many Orphans to See Flights: Applications to Advertiser for Free Tickets Number Over Hundred”
The Hawaiian gazette, December 30, 1910, Image 1


“Everybody Headed for the Scene of Airship Flights”
Hawaiian star, December 31, 1910, SECOND EDITION, Image 1

“Mars Has Thrilling Final Flight and Leaves on Asia”
Hawaiian star, January 3, 1911, SECOND EDITION, Page 3

“In Sustained Flight Mars Soars Through Air at Moanalua: Daring Aviator Explores Unknown Regions of the Sky”
Hawaiian gazette, January 3, 1911, Page 3, Image 4

3 Comments on “Hawaii’s First Airplane Flight”

  1. […] Today in history — 1910 — Hawaii witnessed its first aircraft flight. People bought tickets to watch it … Read more […]

  2. Tiki808 says:

    I loved the article. It must have been a most anticipated event. To think in just under 100 years to this date, Hawai’i has caught up with the rest of the world. For technology.

  3. Tiki808 says:

    Hawai’i has always been home. I remember reading about the first telephone coming to Hawai’i. It was a teletype. It is the first ones ever made.Iolani palace. We marvel how far it was since.

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