Battleship Texas (I & II)
First Flight in Texas
The Six National Flags
Flags of the
The Capitols of Texas
State Fair of Texas
Money of the
Republic of Texas
The Texas Rangers
of the Republic
The Five Missions
of Old San Antonio
The Texas Constitution
U. S. Postage Stamps
About Texas and Texans
The Crash at Crush
in the Early 1900s
Heroes of Texas Fiction
of Texas Trivia
First Flight in Texas
As early as the 1860's, balloonists in Texas took to the air in experiments that seemed to defy the laws of gravity. Within a few years, however, these early efforts in aviation were directed toward the development of winged craft.
Even today, claims persist that Texas inventor Jacob F. Brodbeck became the world's first aviator. According to legend, he flew his "air-ship" on September 20, 1865--almost forty years before the Wright brother's famous flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Brodbeck's flight allegedly took place about three miles east of Luckenbach.
According to reports, the flight ended in an unfortunate landing which destroyed the craft but left Brodbeck without
Despite these reports, it is generally agreed that the first confirmed winged flight in Texas
took place in South Houston several years after the Wright brother's flight. The historic flight in Texas was made by
Louis Paulhan, a Frenchman, on February 18, 1910. This time, cameras and a
small crowd of people were on hand to witness the event (see image below).
First Flight in Texas. A small crowd is delighted
in witnessing the 1st airplane flight in Texas. Frenchman Louis Paulha completed the
exhibition in South Houston on Feb. 18, 1910, a few years after the Wright brother's famous flight
in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Flights in other Texas cities soon followed. Within two weeks of Paulhan's flight,
army Lt. Benjamin Foulois successfully completed a similar feat in San Antonio. Foulois used the Wright brother's biplane, which had been purchased
by the U. S. Army. Three years later, the Army's First Aero Squadron was assigned to Texas City
with a "fleet" of nine aircraft.
Since these early flights, many other Texans have considerably advanced the field of aviation.
Sisters Marjorie and Katherine Stinson of San Antonio became well known women pilots.
Wiley Post and Howard Hughes
continued the tradition into the 1930's and beyond.
The flat terrain and year-round warm climate in Texas made it an ideal region
for flight training during both World Wars. Early air fields and facilities throughout the state were used in training thousands of pilots,
mechanics and other aviation
personnel to establish Texas as a key resource in flight technology. This resource continues to be tapped
today in an age of manned spacecraft.
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