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Groundbreaking at new park honors city's aviation innovation

Posted Jan. 13, 2016

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A new park will commemorate the site where Fort Worth's first powered flight took place in January 1911.

Aviation and history enthusiasts gathered to break ground and ceremoniously give flight to a new park celebrating the history of aviation in Fort Worth.

Construction of First Flight Park begins this month. Greystar, developers of an apartment village surrounding the park, is paying for most of the park’s construction.

The city council dedicated property at 2700 Mercedes Ave. in the Linwood Addition as public parkland and authorized naming the plot First Flight Park. The park honors the January day in 1911 when a Frenchman named Roland G. Garros lifted off in his Bleriot monoplane, marking the first powered flight from Fort Worth soil. Garros took off from the Fort Worth Driving Park, a racetrack situated near the current-day Montgomery Plaza off West Seventh Street.

A Texas historic marker was dedicated at the site in 2014.

The centerpiece of the park will be a full-sized replica of a Bleriot XI measuring nearly 9-feet long with a wingspan of more than 25 feet. The replica is being constructed by Cowtown Aerocrafters.

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