There are a few fun things that I got out of this first page. Why, if you can climb to 3000', would you be afraid of a bridge? The OX was a stronger engine than earlier F-boats with at about 70 hp, and yet there were quite a few entries that stated they couldn't get over the bridge. The photos I've seen from that area do not show any monumental bridges. The entire area was built around the availability of the railroad line that lead to the island, but photos of that bridge show it to be quite short. Notice that they eventually give up, and move the whole operation north of the stinking bridge. Perhaps the bridge interfered with taking off. Also, I noticed that they started out in West Palm Beach, and wind up in Palm Beach, so they started on the mainland, and wound up on the island.
This probably had something to do with the bridge, and was a peculiarity of the F-boat. In calm water, the F-boat didn't like to "get off" as Ivan put it. It was actually better to have a mild chop in the water, which helped in getting the hull "unstuck" from the water. My guess is that the prevailing wind produced less chop on the leeward side of lake Worth. In drawings I've seen of the F-boat, I didn't see the extended hull that we'll see in these photos, so I wonder if they needed a bit more hull area to help out on takeoffs. Perhaps their little OX motor was a bit saggy. It seems that no two of these planes were alike, so that may just typical of some planes and not others.
The newspaper clippings, which are accompanied by quite a few photos, surround an incident in which Eden and his mother ran into some engine trouble and had to land. The plane was damaged and had to be disassembled for transport and repair. This may have happened very soon after Ivan's first flight, since you'll notice a break between the first flight and the second flight of about two and a half weeks.
Eden used this event pretty masterfully, in my opinion. He successfully showed that the airplane was safe, even in the event of engine trouble. Another little note in the papers a few days later indicate that Eden found that the "gas pump failed temporarily". I wonder if this is the same pump that Ivan referred to when he claimed they needed to "pump air". In some drawings and photos, I've seen a cylindrical fuel tank above and left of the engine, but I can't make one out in any of my photos, so far. It appears that there is a fuel line running from behind the engine, but I'm not sure about that, either. Perhaps some F-boat historian will fill us in before long.
Some photos of the event...
The next photos will feature more of Ivan, another student, F. C. G. Eden, and some interesting photos of early Palm Beach, Florida! In the meantime, check out this interesting article on early Palm Beach aviation.