First Wright Flyer Delivered to Army
August 20, 1908 — The first Wright Flyer built for the Army was delivered to Fort Myer, Virginia, by Orville Wright.
First Military Test of an Aircraft
September 9-17, 1908 — The first military test flight of an aircraft was made from the Fort Myer's grounds. Orville Wright succeeded in keeping the Wright Flyer aloft for one minute and 11 seconds. After more than four minutes in the air, the second test flight ended with a tragic crash. Orville Wright was severely cut and bruised and his passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, became the first powered-aviation fatality. Selfridge is buried in Section 3, Lot 2158, Grid QR-13/14 of Arlington National Cemetery.
First NACA Facility
1920 — NACA (NASA) establishes its first research facility at Langley Field.
First Battleship Airplane Takeoff
November 14, 1910 — The first battleship airplane takeoff is made by Eugene Ely from the U.S.S. Birmingham anchored in Willoughby Bay in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
First U.S. Aircraft Carrier Commissioned
March 20, 1922 — The nation's first aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Langley was commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia.
First Aviator to Fly Over Both Poles
1926 — Famed Virginia, Admiral Richard E. Byrd flies over the South Pole and the North Pole, thus becoming the first aviator to fly over both Poles.
First 50th Celebration of Powered Flight
May, 1953 — Virginia becomes the first in the nation to officially recognize the 50th Anniversary of powered flight by observing a state-wide celebration culminating with a spectacular airshow at Byrd Field in Richmond.