March 15, 1910
A biplane built by the Wright brothers arrived in Montgomery by train in seven large crates. Wilbur and Orville Wright traveled to Montgomery in 1910, only seven years after their first successful flight in North Carolina, to open the nation’s first civilian flying school in a city with mild winter climate and flat farmland. The brothers chose a cotton plantation owned by Frank Kohn as the site of the school and three students enrolled in the program for training. Mechanical and weather-related problems, however, forced the closure of the school a few months later. The site later reopened for aircraft repair during World War I and evolved into what is now Maxwell Air Force Base.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
The Wright brothers’ civilian flying school operated from March to May 1910 near Montgomery. The site became a flight repair depot for the Army Air Corps during World War I, and now is the home of Maxwell Air Force Base. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Justin Dubois)
The biplane pictured here was used by Orville Wright to train students at his civilian flying school, which opened near Montgomery in March 1910. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Air University Historical Research Agency)
Orville and Wilbur Wright were self-taught engineers who were aerospace pioneers at the turn of the 20th century. They achieved the first human-powered flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1910, the brothers founded the first civilian flight school near Montgomery on the site currently occupied by Maxwell Air Force Base. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Air University Historical Research Agency)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.