September in Aviation History

• Sept 9 1830 – Charles Durant made his first U. S. balloon ascent at Castle Garden, New York. He stayed in the air for two hours, landing at South Amboy, New Jersey. His skill and enthusiasm inspired a passion for ballooning in America.

• Sept 20 1902 – The Wright brothers made the first of nearly 1,000 glides on their modified No. 3 glider in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. It is this glider, made of spruce wood and cloth, which incorporated for the first time the flight controls of the modern airplane.

• Sept 25 1903 – The Wright brothers arrived at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to begin tests of their first powered aircraft.

• Sept 7 1904 – The Wright brothers first used their weight-and-derrick-assisted take-off device in order to make themselves independent of the wind and weather.

• Sept 7 1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flew his 14-bis aircraft at Bagatelle, France for the first time successfully.

• Sept 10 1908 – At Fort Myer, Orville Wright sets a world flight endurance record of 1 h 5 min and 52 seconds.

• Sept 17 1908 – Army Signal Corps Wright Model A, Army Signal Corps serial number 1, piloted by Orville Wright, crashed at Ft. Myer, Virginia, killing Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge. Selfridge AFB, Michigan, was later named for the first U.S. military air crash victim. Wright was also hospitalized until 31 October and spends several more weeks on crutches.

• Sept 16 1910 – Bessica Raiche made the first solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States to be accredited at the time by the Aeronautical Society of America.

• Sept 23 1913 – Roland Garros mades the first air crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. He flew the 729 km (453 miles) from Saint-Raphaël to Bizerte in 7 hours 53 min.

• Sept 29 1914 – The first U. S. tactical air unit, the First Aero Squadron, is organized because of the August outbreak of war in Europe. Based in San Diego, California, the unit has 16 officers, 77 enlisted men, and 8 airplanes.

• Sept 11 1920 – Edison Mouton flew into Marina Field, San Francisco, to complete the First US transcontinental airmail flight. Having left from New York, it took Mouton and his crew over 75 hours to complete the feat.

• Sept. 4 1922 – Lt Jimmy Doolittle flew across the United States in under a day in a de Havilland DH.4. He took 21 hours 19 min to fly from Pablo Beach, Florida to Rockwell Field, California.

• Sept. 3 1925 – U.S. Navy airship, USS Shenandoah ZR-1, crashed after encountering thunderstorms near Ava, Ohio after an in flight break up. Fourteen of 43 aboard are killed. The ship's commanding officer, Lt. Cdr. Zachery Lansdowne is killed on what was to have been his final flight before reassignment to sea duty.

• Sept 6 1929 – Flying the Wright XF3 W-1 Apache equipped with floats, United States Navy Lieutenant Apollo Soucek set a world altitude record for seaplanes, climbing to 38,500 feet (11,735 m).

• Sept. 3 1932 – Jimmy Doolittle set a new landplane airspeed record of 296 mph (476 km/h) in the Gee Bee R-1.

• Sept. 4 1936 – Louise Thaden became the first woman to win the prestigious coast-to-coast Bendix trophy race.

• Sept 17 1947 – The United States Army Air Forces were separated from the United States Army and became an independent armed service, the United States Air Force.

• Sept 18 1984 – Joe Kittinger completed first solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic.

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COVID-19 Closure Updates

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center is Open as of May 12: Status of Aviation Trail sites regarding visitors during the COVID-19 precautions - Updated: May 12, 2021. The Wright-Dunbar/Avi


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16 S. Williams St., Dayton, OH 45402

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For details and seasonal date schedules see

or please call (937) 225-7705 for the current park schedule.

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From W. Third St., turn south on Williams St and then turn left on Fourth St. Go 1/2 block and turn left into the Visitor Center parking area.

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