By Kenneth Baxter Ragsdale
Austin, Texas, entered the aviation age on October 29, 1911, while Calbraith Perry Rodgers landed his Wright EX Flyer in a vacant box close to the present-day intersection of Duval and forty fifth Streets. a few 3,000 excited humans rushed out to work out the pilot and his airplane, very similar to the masses of hundreds of thousands who mobbed Charles A. Lindbergh and The Spirit of St. Louis in Paris 16 years later. even though not anyone that day in Austin may foresee all of the alterations that may consequence from manned flight, humans here--as in towns and cities around the United States--realized new period used to be commencing, they usually greeted it with all-out enthusiasm. This popularly written background tells the tale of aviation in Austin from 1911 to the hole of Austin-Bergstrom overseas Airport in 1999. Kenneth Ragsdale covers the entire major advancements, starting with army aviation actions in the course of international conflict I and carrying on with throughout the barnstorming period of the Nineteen Twenties, the inauguration of airmail provider in 1928 and airline carrier in 1929, and the commitment of the 1st municipal airport in 1930. He additionally appears on the college of Texas's position in education pilots in the course of international warfare II, the expansion of industrial and armed forces aviation within the postwar interval, and the fight over airport enlargement that occupied the final a long time of the 20 th century. all through, he indicates how aviation and the town grew jointly and supported one another, which makes the Austin aviation adventure a case examine of the influence of aviation on city groups national. (200509)
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Extra resources for Austin, Cleared for Takeoff: Aviators, Businessmen, and the Growth of an American City (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture, No. 14)
The size of the instructional staff varied with the ever-changing number of cadets. During the some twenty months of operation, nearly 170 different instructors taught in the ground school. Of that total, just over 100 were military personnel (mostly privates or noncommissioned officers) and the rest civilians. Peak activity occurred between December 1917 and September 1918, when the School of Military Aeronautics staff averaged 113 instructors. By January 1919, just before the school closed, teaching personnel had decreased to 46.
In 1915, Katherine and Marjorie Stinson established Stinson Field on 500 acres of ranch land six miles south of San Antonio, where they taught Canadian students to fly. The following year the City of San Antonio took over that field as a civilian aviation facility. In 1917, the Canadian Royal Flying Corps opened Hicks Field, originally named Taliaferro Field, fourteen miles northwest of Fort Worth to train pilots for World War I. And after the United States entered the war, that field was taken over by the United States Army for flight training.
The ten-place, 190-mph “Electra” represented the airline industry’s increasing use of safer and more efficient multiengine aircraft. 16 CH T AP ER 1 , G N LEN , ND A , NY N NS I BE RIG O E IN TH ST U A F O N IO T IA AV L CA I T was an odd conglomerate; excitement pervaded the onrush of humanity. Some came walking, while others arrived on horseback and in buggies, hacks, and carriages; a few drove automobiles. 1 All came to witness the newest phenomenon of the twentieth century—a man flying an airplane.