Details for First Airplane Flight Over Texas (Atlas Number 5201010660)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5201010660

Data

Marker Number 10660
Atlas Number 5201010660
Marker Title First Airplane Flight Over Texas
Index Entry Airplane Flight Over Texas, First
Address 58 Spencer
City South Houston
County Harris
UTM Zone 15
UTM Easting 284083
UTM Northing 3282414
Subject Codes land surveys, land companies, promotional towns; aviation
Marker Year 1991
Designations
Marker Location 58 Spencer, Chamber of Commerce
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text The first documented flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine in Texas occurred over this site on February 18, 1910, two weeks before the first military airplane flight by Lt. benjamin Foulois at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The South Houston flight was part of a land development promotion sponsored by the Western Land Corporation and the Houston "Post." French aviator Louis Paulhan, on a coast-to-coast flying exhibition tour of America, was commissioned to demonstrate his flying skills. The promoters arranged for special excursion trains to transport spectators to the site from downtown Houston. Headlines in the "Post" proclaimed, "This is the first opportunity for Texans to see a real demonstration of man's ability to fly. Don't fail to come and see demonstrated the greatest invention of the present era." A crowd of more than 2,500 people gathered on Friday, February 18th, to witness Paulhan's first Texas flight in his Farman biplane. Because of high winds and inclement weather, the aviator was not able to perform some of his most spectacular stunts, but the crowd was thrilled with the aerial display. A second flying exhibition on the following day drew almost 6,000 people.