The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 144
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of wheels, and a catapult tower and a launching track were used
to get the plane into the air. The power plant consisted of a very
unreliable 4 cylinder engine of, approximately, 25 horse power.
This engine was equipped with a very tricky throttle control
which, we had learned at College Park, Md., had a bad habit
of causing the engine to 'cut out' completely while in flight.
Also, the retarding range of the throttle control was so limited
that landings always had to be made with a 'dead engine' in
order to cut down the landing speed to a minimum and to
prevent being turned over on landing. And, I may state here,
that it was not until after I had had approximately four months
of flying experience in Texas weather that we managed, through
service testing and experimenting with new surfaces and new
types of engine throttles, to eliminate the bucking habits and
"When I arrived in Texas (Feb. 5, 191o), I had had consid-
erable experience in the repair and maintenance of the plane,
but as a pilot, my background was not so hot! In October and
November, 1909, at College Park, Md., I had been given approx-
imately three hours of flying instruction in the air by Wilbur
Wright; during which time I was given no instruction in taking
the plane off the launching rail and no instruction in landing
it with a dead engine. And, aside from a few hours of flying in
dirigibles and free balloons, the above three hours of airplane
time summed up my pilot's time when, in December, 19o09, I
was ordered to Texas with instructions to 'teach myself how to
"In November, 1909, old No. I was crashed and all training
ceased for 9gog. Also, in 19o09, Lts. [Frank Purdy] Lahm and
Humphries (the other two officers on flying duty) were relieved
from flying, leaving one half-trained pilot (myself); eight en-
listed men; and one badly-damaged airplane to represent the
entire U. S. Air Force during the period from December, 1909,
to March, 1911.
"It may be of interest to Texans that a Texan was primarily
responsible for the initial establishment of military aviation in
Texas. On or about December 15, 1909, I was called into the
Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army (General [James]
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/198/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.