Aviation Feed

Nonprofit aims to save Civil War's 'Kitty Hawk

By STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (AP) — It was the Civil War's "Kitty Hawk moment," and it happened here when balloons manned by Confederate and Union aeronauts floated above a field of battle — the first time warring armies sent their air ships aloft simultaneously over U.S. soil.

The historic encounter in the skies occurred on June 27, 1862, when two Union balloons — the Intrepid and the Washington — rose aloft only miles west of Richmond while their Southern counterpart, Gazelle, floated over the capital of the Confederacy. These balloons were the unarmed drones of war, collecting intelligence on rival troop movements from a vantage of 1,000 feet above the earth.

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