First Flight Park
First Flight Park Street View
Texas Hisrorical Marker at First Flight Park
Full Scale Scuplture of the Blerot XI that peformed the first powered flight in Fort Worth. It is the largest wind vane in the State of Texas.
First Powered Flight in Fort Worth, January 12, 1911.
1928 aerial photo of the newly-completed Montgomery Ward Building on West 7th Street with remnants of the driving park in the background.
Backstory and Context
The 1st powered flight in Fort Worth, Texas took place on a very windy Thursday, January 12, 1911. With a crowd of about 17,000 spectators, Frenchman Roland G. Garros of the Moisant International Aviators flew his Bleriot XI monoplane on a 7-mile cross-country jaunt at 1200’, circled the take-off area a few times, and then made a beautiful landing in high, buffeting winds.
The take-off area was the old Fort Worth Driving Park, a race track that was located near where the current day Montgomery Plaza is now. Roland Garros was also the famous tennis player, whose name is on the Stade Roland-Garros tennis complex in Paris, France where the French Open is played in May of every year. The area is now a city park that was dedicated 103 years to the day after Garros braved those high winds. Featured in the park is a full-size replica of Garros’ Bleroit XI and a Texas historic marker was dedicated at the site in 2014.