An Irvine bean field launched California’s first flight

Photo courtesy of the Irvine Historical Society.

Did you know that California’s first recorded flight started on an Irvine bean field in 1909? Young aviator Glenn Martin (pictured right) lifted up just eight feet during that 12-second flight. Three years later, he broke an American over-water record by flying 68 miles from Newport Beach to Catalina Island and back. In 1913, he thanked his early supporter, James H. Irvine (left), with a 20-minute flight over The Irvine Ranch. On landing, Irvine said he had “never seen so much of his land at one time before.” (Visit for more Irvine history.)

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