The first commercial airplane flew on January 1, 1914 in Florida. This airplane service began between St.Petersburg and Tampa. It was a especially designed airplane which was more like an air boat as it could land and take off from water. The “flying boat” was designed by Thomas Benoist who was an entrepreneur from St.Louis. It was a 34 kilometers flight across the bay of Tampa which took around 23 minutes.
The airboat weighed 1,250 pounds , 26 feet long and had a wingspan of 44 feet. Airplane had the engine of 75-horsepower and the top speed was 64mph (103K/H).
Tony Jannus was the pilot of the first passenger aircraft. The plane could accommodate one passenger in a single flight. Abram C. Pheil was the first passenger who purchased the ticket for $5 for this flight. The airplane flew twice daily , for six days in a week. Passenger fare was $5 and $5 per 100 pounds of any goods to be transported. As the service began, the tickets were sold for 16 weeks in advance.
This service operated for 4 months which proved to be the milestone and showed the way for future advancements in the aviation industry.