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360 Degree - The Benoist: A St Petersburg Story

Have you ever wanted to explore a historically significant place, but were not able to make it there in person? Make sure you don't miss out, as you can now take a virtual 360 degree tour and experience the sights of the place from the comfort of your own home. Join us as we embark on a journey full of discovery and exploration to uncover the wonders of this important place!

Take a 360 degree tour of the Benoist on the St. Petersburg Pier


See the tour at:
Benoist Centennial Plaza (
The St Pete Pier and the History of Flight Benoist Memorial

When you plan your next trip to St Petersburg, Florida, you’ll want to make sure to check out the new St Pete Pier and the History of Flight Benoist Memorial. This remarkable destination gives visitors the opportunity to explore the local area’s rich aviation history, as well as a chance to enjoy some of the best views of the skyline.

The Benoist Memorial pays homage to Tony Jannus, who took off from the Pier on January 1, 1914 and became the first passenger to ever travel by commercial plane. This feat made St Pete an international sensation and popularized aviation in North America. The Memorial also includes monuments to T. Coleman duPont, an aviation pioneer responsible for popularizing the commercial airline industry, and to Ruth Elder, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air.

When you visit the St Pete Pier, you’ll also get a chance to take in the views from up above. The Pier offers spectacular panoramic views of the Bay, the downtown skyline, the recreation and amusement park, and the nearby Skyway Bridge. On the Pier itself, you can find art installations, restaurants, souvenir shops, a bicycle path, and plenty of opportunities to sightsee or just relax and take in the scenery.

The St Pete Pier and Benoist Memorial are both places of utmost significance in the history of aviation. Not only do they provide a glimpse into our past, they also allow us to take in the splendor of what the future holds. Whether you’re a local seeking to learn more about our area’s history, or an visitor looking to explore new horizons, the St Pete Pier and Benoist Memorial are places you won’t want to miss.

From Benoist to Boeing: Exploring the History of Flight

The dream of flight has captivated humanity since the dawn of civilization. While dreaming of its possibility, we have achieved a tremendous amount of progress that has brought us up to today's amazing reality of commercial airlines flying around the world. But how did our ancient ancestor’s dreams become a reality?

Let's explore the origins of flight to understand its evolution. In the early 1900s, the world's first commercial airline was established by the Benoist Aircraft Company in Florida. It operated the world’s very first scheduled commercial air service, flying passengers over the Tampa Bay on a regular basis. This service not only opened the door to transportation advancements, but it also allowed travelers to experience the views of the first great aviator – Thomas Benoist – in all of his glory.

In the decades that followed, a new era of aviation began to take shape as aircraft designs were improved upon and further innovations in aviation were made. These improvements went hand-in-hand with the development of airports, navigation aids and air traffic control, which all enabled aircrafts to fly greater distances, farther away from the safety of the ground. Soon after, the world marveled as the first supersonic commercial aircraft – the Concorde – began to traverse the skies, and airlines large and small had begun their journey of connecting the world.

Commercial flight has come a long way from the first flight by a Benoist aircraft in Tampa Bay, Florida. Today, we have the amazing capacity to travel to any part of the world in a matter of hours. Our capacity to explore the skies continues to be a source of excitement and curiosity, creating adventures where ever we may go.

From the first scheduled commercial air service pioneered by Thomas Benoist to the supersonic flight times of today, the capacity to explore the skies with ease has come a long way in the past century. Reminisce on the past and look forward to the future as you get ready for your next airborne adventure and take to the skies.

vivian van zyl
Vivian van Zyl