Carl Crane, aviation pioneer, makes first automated landing

August 23rd, 1937

On this day in 1937, Texan Carl Joseph Crane made the world's first fully automated landing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This aviation pioneer and inventor had witnessed the birth of aviation in Texas when, at Fort Sam Houston, Capt. Benjamin Foulois first flew the only airplane owned by the United States government. Crane graduated from the United States Army Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field in 1925, and in 1929 he teamed with William C. Ocker to devise revolutionary flying systems and to write the world's first manual for instrumental flight, Blind Flight in Theory and Practice (1932). He designed the instruments for the first automated landing in 1937, and he held more than 100 patents when he died in 1982.

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Carl Crane, aviation pioneer, makes first automated landing

August 23rd, 1937

On this day in 1937, Texan Carl Joseph Crane made the world's first fully automated landing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This aviation pioneer and inventor had witnessed the birth of aviation in Texas when, at Fort Sam Houston, Capt. Benjamin Foulois first flew the only airplane owned by the United States government. Crane graduated from the United States Army Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field in 1925, and in 1929 he teamed with William C. Ocker to devise revolutionary flying systems and to write the world's first manual for instrumental flight, Blind Flight in Theory and Practice (1932). He designed the instruments for the first automated landing in 1937, and he held more than 100 patents when he died in 1982.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

Share this article

Share the Texas Day by Day

Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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