Here for the first time in the world, an airplane flew over an hour. That was on September 9, 1908, when a Wright Brothers' "Flyer", piloted by Orville Wright took off from the north end of the Fort Myer drill field and circled continuously over this area for one hour, two minutes and 15 seconds.Dedicated July 30, 1959 by the Early Birds of Aviation
The same day Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm, U.S. Army, became the first person in the world to fly in an airplane as a military observer. That flight of six minutes and 24 seconds as a passenger with Mr. Wright was a world record flight for two men. The next year in another Wright "Flyer", they made a world record passenger flight here of one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
The first cross-country flight of an airplane in America was made July 30, 1909, from Fort Myer to Alexandria and return, a continuous round trip of ten miles averaging about 42½ miles per hour. Orville Wright was pilot, and Lieutenant Benjamin Foulois, U.S. Army, was passenger.
Following these official tests that Wright "Flyer" of 1909 was accepted and purchased by the War Department. It was the first successful military airplane in the world. It remained in active service with the Signal Corps' Aviation Section until 1911. It is now in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. In 1908 the Army's first dirigible airship, the "SC-1" was test-flown from this field.
An organization of those who flew solo before December 17, 1916