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Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army's First Airplane (eBook)

Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army's First Airplane
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Recounts the experiences of Benjamin D. Foulois, the pioneering, self-taught pilot of "Signal Corps No. 1", the very first airplane of the United States Army Signal Corps. Contains detailed daily logs of his flights.

In December 1909, 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois was summoned into the office of Brig. Gen. James Allen, Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. Army, who told the officer that he was to become the sole flyer of the newly acquired Wright military airplane, designated "Signal Corps No. 1." Foulois was to report to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in order to assess the aircraft's military possibilities. "Take plenty of spare parts, and teach yourself to fly" was the heartening command given to the young lieutenant.

Foulois had minimal exposure to heavier-than-air mechanical flight and had yet to fly solo. In the early days of flight, every attempt to leave the ground held the possibility of disaster. Unpredictable mechanical failure or dangerous weather conditions were constant threats. Admirably, Foulois not only survived the assignment but also developed his skills as a pilot, introduced modifications to the aircraft, and established many new procedures along the way, forming the foundations of modern military aviation.

Note: Most of the Logbook of Signal Corps No. 1 was handwritten by one or more individuals in a neat, professional hand. The logbook is presented as it was originally written although certain adjustments to the format of the material as originally recorded were considered editorially felicitous. Where such format changes have been applied to assist a modern-day reader's comprehension of the author's original record, the information appears here phrased in italic type. -- Air Force History and Museums Program. United States Air Force.


Other related products:

Signal Corps --Paperback format can be found here:

First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane can be found here:

Air National Guard at 60: A History --eBook format -available through Google Play eBookstore. Please use ISBN: 9780160869310 to search for this product through their platform.


Members of the military (especially the Army), Veterans, and military and aircraft/flight enthusiasts would enjoy this publication.  In addition, historians and students involved with military/aircraft/flight studies may want a copy of this publication.

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Defense Dept., Air Force, Air Force History and Museums Program
  • Cunningham, Meghan
2004: 52 p.; ill.
Key Phrases:
  • Air Force History and Museums Program
  • United States Armys First Airplane
  • Army History
  • Air Force History
  • Military History
  • Foulois, Benjamin D.
  • Signal Corps
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Subject Bibliography:
018 098 131 153
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Unit of Issue (Non-US):
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