Rex Smith Aeroplane Company
|Headquarters||College Park, Maryland|
|Key people||Rex Smith (1862–1923)|
|Products||Rex Smith Biplane|
Rex Smith Aeroplane Company was an American aircraft manufacturer in College Park, Maryland.
The founder, Rex Smith, was an inventor and a patent attorney. He placed his offices in Washington D.C., and operations at College Park Airport. The company was capitalized with $500,000 in 1910 with Victor J Evans as president and Rex Smith as Vice president.
In 1911, Rex Smith moved his hangar to line up with the Army Aviation School, and hired Frank Kastory from Anzani, and Abraham Whalomie Raygorodsky from Russia. He test flew Smith aircraft alongside Fox engine powered Curtiss aircraft. Rex also hired Tony Jannus, and Paul Peck as test pilots. In a stroke of coincidence, flying at the same airport at the same time was another military aviator, Paul W. Beck.
The Rex Smith Biplane was used in the successful April 3, 1911 U.S. Army Signal Corps experiments in wireless communications. Potomac river pontoon experiments on April 5, were not as successful, with the aircraft plowing into the water headfirst nearly drowning the test pilot Jannus. Just two days later the machine was ready again. Janus took up actor Nat M. Wills, and later two female passengers at the same time. Marking the first time an aircraft flew with more than one passenger.
The Signal Corps did not buy any Smith Biplanes, they did however use them from time to time to train pilots to fly the Curtiss aircraft at the same field.
|Model name||First flight||Number built||Type|
|Rex Smith Biplane||1910||2||Pusher Biplane|
- "Early Civilian Aviation". Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Aeronautics. 1910.
- "28 minute flight with Smith machine". aeronautics. June 1911.
- "Rexford Smith". Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Smith Biplane". Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Flight progress around the country". aeronautics. May 1911.
- Thomas Reilly. Jannus, an American flier.