Ralph Hazlett Upson

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R.H. Upson.jpg

Ralph Hazlett Upson (June 21, 1888 - August 13, 1968) was a pioneer in the aviation field, holding Airship Pilot's Certificate #7, Balloon Pilot's Certificate #48 and Pilot's License #10290.[1] He won the 1913 International Balloon Race (with Ralph Preston).[2] He was the second individual to win the Wright Brothers Medal (1929).


He was born in New York City on June 21, 1888 to Grace Hazlett, a physician; and William Ford Upson, a Wall Street attorney.[1] He died on August 13, 1968 at the age of 80 at Burien General Hospital in Burien, Washington.

In the 1920s, he worked in the area of manned balloon flight at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company,[3] and went on to work at the Aircraft Development Corporation on his concept of a duraluminum-skinned airship which became the ZMC-2.[1]

He had a heart attack while climbing Glacier Peak and died on August 13, 1968.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Ralph Hazlett Upson biographical notes". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  2. ^ Round the World Flight, The New York Times, May 13, 1919.
  3. ^ H. Green and E.N. Findley, Eds. (1920) Over There and Everywhere, U.S. Air Service 4(1), pp. 36.
  4. ^ "Ralph Upson, 80, Balloonist, Dies. Racing Champion Turned to Planes Later in Career". New York Times. August 15, 1968. Retrieved 2010-12-26. Ralph Hazlett Upson, aeronautical engineer who was a balloon-racing champion from 1913 to 1921, died Tuesday at Burien General Hospital. ...