The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 354
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The tricycle landing gear of 1910 was a significant contribution
to the progress of military aviation at Fort Sam Houston. Land-
ings could now be made in even the roughest sections of the drill
field, and the bulky starting track with its tower, ropes, and
falling weight was eliminated as accessory to flight.
During the month of August, 1910, Foulois flew on seven
days for a total time in the air of one hour sixteen minutes. By
this time he was a competent pilot (though still rough on his
landings) and had begun looking about for new frontiers to
conquer. Since the next logical step in an aviation education
would have been a cross-country flight between two compass
points, Foulois asked for permission to make such a flight from
Fort Sam Houston to Leon Springs in northwest Bexar County
some twenty-two miles from San Antonio. Although Foulois had
announced to the press that, provided the War Department would
grant its approval, several cross-country flights would be planned
in the future, the pilot was to be keenly disappointed. The War
Department and Signal Corps refused to grant the necessary
permission for the suggested cross-country. On September 21,
191g, Captain Arthur S. Cowan wrote Foulois that:
I am directed by the Chief Signal Officer of the Army to advise
you that, while he does not desire to place any restrictions upon your
work with this machine, he is particularly anxious that you should
avoid any hazardous flights, or any work in connection with this
machine, which does not appear reasonably safe.
It is hoped that by next spring the Signal Corps will be equipped
with some new up-to-date machines and that it will then be possible
[for you] to carry on the class of work to which you refer.s4
In effect Foulois' request for cross-country experience had
been politely but firmly refused by the power and authority
vested in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer.
Army flying at Fort Sam Houston was halted during the last
quarter of 1910 when Benjamin Foulois was ordered to attend
the aviation meets held at Belmont Park, Long Island, and Bal-
timore, Maryland, and to report for a period of temporary duty
in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer at Washington, D. C.
As a result, Foulois did not return to San Antonio until Feb-
84Captain Arthur S. Cowan to Benjamin D. Foulois, September 21, iglo, in
Aviation Notebook, 19o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/421/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.