On this day in Alabama history: First flight over Alabama occurred

On this day in Alabama history: First flight over Alabama occurred
Wilbur and Orville Wright seated on steps of rear porch in Dayton, 1909. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

March 26, 1910

Aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright opened the nation’s first civilian flying school on an old cotton plantation near Montgomery in spring 1910. Wilbur Wright arrived in Montgomery on Feb. 15 and visited several sites before selecting the Frank Kohn plantation the next day. The Wrights had their biplane shipped to Montgomery in seven large crates that arrived by train March 15. Late on the evening of March 26, Orville made the first documented controlled and sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air machine over Alabama. The brothers’ flying school was short-lived, however, with mechanical and weather-related problems forcing them to close the facility. The site later became Maxwell Field, which would evolve into what is now Maxwell Air Force Base.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s bicentennial, go to Alabama 200.

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