Monday, July 27, 2015

Naval Aircraft Factory

Flying Field and Beach Front at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, PA
Flying Field and Beach Front at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, PA

On July 27, 1917, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels approved the construction of the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia to help solve aircraft supply issues during World War I. The project proceeded at an amazing timeline:
6 August 1917 – Contract was let.
10 August 1917 – Ground broken.
16 October 1917 – First machine tool in operation.
28 November 1917 – The entire plant was completed!
27 March 1918 – Only 228 days after groundbreaking, the first H-16 built by the Naval Aircraft Factory flew successfully.

H-16 circa 1918
H-16 circa 1918
Production ended at the Naval Aircraft Factory in early 1945. The main building still exists but was converted to a research and development facility for the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

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