Blériot XI - First Flight Park - Fort Worth, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 32° 45.284 W 097° 21.296
14S E 654107 N 3625293
Quick Description: The city's first powered flight took place in here in 1911, and a replica of the Blériot XI that went up into the sky that day stands in First Flight Park at 2700 Mercedes Ave, Fort Worth, TX.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 1/10/2022 4:28:37 PM
Waymark Code: WM15J55
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 2

Long Description:
A 2012 Texas Historical Marker provides some history:

In December 1903, the Wright Brothers achieved powered flight, but by 1910, most people still had not see an airplane. In October 1910, John Moisant of Chicago formed a touring aerial demonstration team known as the Moisant International Aviators. A group of aviation enthusiasts led by Amon G. Carter, Sr. paid the aviators to come to Fort Worth. On January 12, 1911, Roland Garros of the Moisant International Aviators, flying a Bleriot XI, became the first person to perform a powered flight in Fort Worth. The flight took place at the Fort Worth Driving Park, a racetrack near Carrol and West 7th Streets.

From this first flight, Fort Worth and North Texas developed into an aviation center. Encouraged by Amon Carter, Ben E. Keith and Louis J. Wortham, the U.S. Army Service constructed three World War I pilot training airfields near Saginaw, Benbrook and Everman by October 1917. The Royal Flying Corps Canada also used the fields for pilot training during the winter months. After World War I, Everman Field became Fort Worth's first municipal airport. Helium was discovered in Texas during World War I and the Navy built a large extraction plant in Fort Worth. The Navy also built a dirigible mooring station nearby and from 1924 to 1929 Fort Worth became a stop on transcontinental airship flights. During the 1930s, Fort Worth became a flight-training center for the civilian pilot training program. Carter not only convinced the Navy use Lake Worth as a seaplane base, but was instrumental in securing a large defense plant to build B-24 Bombers during World War II. The site, known as Air Force Plant #4, has been in continuous use since 1942.

There's not much to be found about the replica itself. Its nose points skyward toward the south, and it's about 30' off the ground on a steel support reinforced with concrete at the bottom. Wikipedia has some general information about this model:

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 7.62 m (25 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 7.79 m (25 ft 7 in)
Height: 2.69 m (8 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 14 m2 (150 sq ft)
Empty weight: 230 kg (507 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Anzani 3-cyl. fan 3-cyl. air-cooled fan-style radial piston engine, 19 kW (25 hp)
Propellers: 2-bladed Chauvière Intégrale, 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) diameter

Performance

Maximum speed: 75.6 km/h (47.0 mph, 40.8 kn)
Service ceiling: 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Type of Aircraft: (make/model): Blériot XI

Tail Number: (S/N): None - Replica

Construction:: replica

Location (park, airport, museum, etc.): First Flight Park

inside / outside: outside

Access restrictions:
You may visit the park at any time, but it probably would be best to just observe the plane from the ground.


Other Information:: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Photo of aircraft (required - will be interesting to see if the aircraft is ever repainted or progress if being restored)
Photo of serial number (required unless there is not one or it is a replica)
Photo(s) of any artwork on the aircraft (optional but interesting)

Tell why you are visiting this waymark along with any other interesting facts or personal experiences about the aircraft not already mentioned.
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