The Aero Club of Pennsylvania was organized December 17, 1909. It stood for the encouragement and development of interest and activity in aeronautics and aviation. It was the governing body in its field in the Commonwealth and recognized and authorized by affiliation with the Aero Club of America, the national body.
Early in the spring of 1916, Philadelphia's first aviation school was organized. A number of the club members, including Judge J. Willis Martin and Robert E. Glendinning, incorporated the Philadelphia School of Aviation, with the object of instructing a volunteer force in the event of war. Mr. Glendinning was President of the corporation. A bill was introduced in City Councils providing for the leasing of the old Lazaretto grounds at Essington to the school for a period of ten years, at a nominal rental of a dollar a year. Mr. Glendinning, in outlining the plan, stated that the main purpose of the school was to instruct students in aviation as a step toward preparedness. This school and its founders and pupils played a most important part in the aviation history of Philadelphia, as more fully described in the accompanying chapter. The school was formally opened on May 12th, and the large body of invited guests was addressed by the late Admiral Robert E. Peary. Flights were made by Chief Instructor Walter Johnson.
On March 8, 1917, it was definitely announced that the War Department had decided to take over the PhiladelphiaSchool of Aviation. This information was conveyed to Robert E. Glendinning in a telegram from General George O. Squier, Chief of the Signal and Aviation Section of the Army.
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