Ben Lomond author gives prolific inventor, John J. Montgomery, the long-overdue credit he deserves
Few Santa Cruzans know that some of the breakthrough experiments in aviation history occurred right in their own backyard. When humankind began to believe in the seemingly impossible notion of controlled flight in the early 1900s, the Wright brothers held the spotlight for their powered aerial flights in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Meanwhile, another man’s breakthrough inventions took to the skies above Aptos.
“Aptos was the Kitty Hawk of the West,” says Craig Harwood. The Ben Lomond resident recently co-authored the book “Quest for Flight,” which tells the tale of a prolific inventor named John J. Montgomery, whose breakthroughs in human-controlled air flight—many of which took place in the Santa Cruz region—fueled the legacy of American aviation. “It was this significant transition from idea and model to being fully demonstrated in a controlled flight hundreds of feet above the earth,” he explains.