May 25, 1910
The first ever nighttime airplane flight was made at Orville Wright’s flying school near Montgomery. Walter Brookins and Archibald Hoxsey piloted the plane. A writer with the local newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, described the historic flight as “glinting now and then in the moonlight.” The flying school was one of the world’s earliest, teaching principles of flying, balancing, turns, landings and take-offs. The school closed shortly after the historic event, but the site eventually became home to Maxwell Air Force Base, named in honor of 2nd Lt. William C. Maxwell of Atmore.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Archives of History.
Lt. William C. Maxwell (1892-1920), for whom Maxwell Air Force Base is named, was a native of Atmore, Escambia County, who died in an aircraft accident in the Philippines. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Air University Office of History)
The Wright brothers’ civilian flying school, the first in the nation, was founded near Montgomery in 1910. The school operated about two months and graduated one student, Walter Brookins, who made the first recorded night flight on May 25, 1910. (From 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)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.