Flying Blind: Enabling All-Weather Flight

The Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics was established in 1926 to address aviation issues related to education, research, technology, and the airplane’s integration into everyday life. Assisted by the government and industry, the fund set up the Full Flight Laboratory at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York. Doolittle, with his doctorate in aeronautical engineering and experience flying experimental aircraft, joined the team as test pilot.

One major challenge Doolittle tackled was all-weather flight. He made the first “blind flight” (flying entirely by instruments), and the technologies he helped develop became standard equipment on all-weather aircraft—and remain so today.


Doolittle made the first “blind flight” in September 1929.

Jimmy Doolittle personified the image of a pioneering aviator in the 1920s and 1930s.

Doolittle worked to advance the development of aviation fuels.