In December 1903, the Wright Brothers achieved powered flight, but by 1910, most people still had not see an airplane. In October 1910, John Moisant of Chicago formed a touring aerial demonstration team known as the Moisant International Aviators. A group of aviation enthusiasts led by Amon G. Carter, Sr. paid the aviators to come to Fort Worth. On January 12, 1911, Roland Garros of the Moisant International Aviators, flying a Bleriot XI, became the first person to perform a powered flight in Fort Worth. The flight took place at the Fort Worth Driving Park, a racetrack near Carrol and West 7th Streets.Marker is property of the State of Texas
From this first flight, Fort Worth and North Texas developed into an aviation center. Encouraged by Amon Carter, Ben E. Keith and Louis J. Wortham, the U.S. Army Service constructed three World War I pilot training airfields near Saginaw, Benbrook and Everman by October 1917. The Royal Flying Corps Canada also used the fields for pilot training during the winter months. After World War I, Everman Field became Fort Worth's first municipal airport. Helium was discovered in Texas during World War I and the Navy built a large extraction plant in Fort Worth. The Navy also built a dirigible mooring station nearby and from 1924 to 1929 Fort Worth became a stop on transcontinental airship flights. During the 1930s, Fort Worth became a flight-training center for the civilian pilot training program. Carter not only convinced the Navy use Lake Worth as a seaplane base, but was instrumental in securing a large defense plant to build B-24 Bombers during World War II. The site, known as Air Force Plant #4, has been in continuous use since 1942.