Boeing's First Test Pilot

In 1908, just five years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight in a powered airplane, about twenty cadets interested in airplanes, gliders, and kites participated in the Aerial Club at Fork Union Military Academy. One of the youngest members of the Aerial Club, William Knox Martin, would soon go on to become of the aviation industry's most interesting and influential pioneers, building a worldwide reputation as a daring pilot and aviation entrepreneur. In fact, when William Boeing started building his first airplane in Seattle, Washington in 1916, it was FUMA's own William Knox Martin who served as Boeing's first test pilot, recording more than forty test flights in the very first Boeing airplane. So the next time you see a powerful Boeing 747 passenger jet slicing through the sky, point to it with pride and tell your friends and family that it was a FUMA cadet who helped get the Boeing company off the ground in the earliest days of powered flight.