In 1910, at Fort Sam Houston, Lieutenant Benjamin Foulois became the first pilot to utilize the aeronautical innovation of landing wheels. While serving in the Aviation Section Signal Corps, Foulois was directed by the Army’s Chief Signal Officer, Brigadere General James Allen, to “teach yourself to fly.” He did so on March 2, 1910, on the Arthur MacArthur parade field making four flights on a S.C. No. 1, which included his first solo takeoff, first solo landing and first crash. Fifteen months later he modified his plane’s elevators based on instructions he received from Orville Wright. To end the requirement of using a 60-foot launch rail to take off, he drew up plans for and installed wheels in place of skids. In addition, he equipped his aircraft with the first seat belt using a four-foot leather cinch obtained from cavalry saddlery.
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