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Signed Photograph of Austria’s First Licensed Pilot & First Female Passenger

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Item: 21885
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WARCHALOWSKI, ADOLF. (1886-1928). Austrian industrialist, aviation pioneer and his country’s first licensed pilot with his sister-in-law ANNA WARCHALOWSKI. (?-?). First Austrian female airplane passenger. SP. (“Adolf Warchalowski”) and (“Anna Warchalowski”). 1p. Oblong 12mo. N.p., [c. 1910]. A sepia postcard photograph depicting the pair in Warchalowski’s Farman biplane. Adolf is gripping the control stick while Anna, seated behind him, holds onto a strut. A printed German caption at the top of the photograph states “First Austrian female flight passenger / Engineer Adolf Warchalowski / Wiener Neustadt Airfield.” Signed by both in black ink on the lower margin of the cream-colored, card-stock mount.

In 1910, Warchalowski, an Austrian machine engineer, imported a Farman biplane from Paris to the Wiener Neustadt airfield where it was altered and renamed the Warchalowski “Vindobona.” In February he set the first two of many Austrian flight records, for the longest sustained flight and longest flight with a passenger. Shortly thereafter, he flew with his sister-in-law aboard, setting another record for the first Austrian female passenger during a ten-minute flight, reaching a height of 20-30 meters. Anna’s historic flight was reported in the June 1910 issue of Aircraft magazine. Later that year he flew Austria’s Archduke and Archduchess. Warchalowski was granted the first pilot’s license by the Austrian Aero Club in April 1910, and his August 1910 flight over Vienna to celebrate Emperor Franz Josef’s 80th birthday captured the imagination of the Austrian public and made international headlines. He continued to set aviation records and perfect his aircraft design, but attempts to market his own aircraft were unsuccessful. Vienna’s Warchalowskigasse is named in his honor. He died in 1928 on his 42nd birthday.

In the lower right corner is the pencil notation “1910” in an unidentified hand. In excellent condition and rare.

Signed Photograph of Austria’s First Licensed Pilot & First Female Passenger

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