Tuesday

Early Aviation in Arizona

The history of early aviation in the desert southwest and particularly around the boot heel is often overlooked in the grand scheme of things.  But from aviation's inception people here were expressing an interest.  The first transcontinental flight crossed the valley in 1911 and was followed by the installation of an intermediate field north of Rodeo.  But aviation history stretches back even further in the area.  As reported in the Douglas Dispatch, in 1908 a group of local aviation enthusiasts formed the Douglas Flying Club and went on to build a glider based on Wright brothers designs which was flown locally.  "The first phase had no motor or wheels and was pulled by horses running down 15th Street between A and Washington Ave. Once it would get airborne, it would break free from the harness that attached it to the horses and fly for several minutes before coming back down, landing on its skids."

The Douglas Glider

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