Slats and Old Soggy No. 1

The first flyer in Texas—and his airplane.

Slats (at controls) and his father, Charles, show off Old Soggy in Cleburne, Texas, in November 1912. (Courtesy L.C. Rapp)
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While living in the valley, Rodgers taught R.C. “Doc” Hausinger to fly. Decades later, Hausinger’s widow, Averil, commissioned the construction of a half-scale model of Old Soggy and donated it to Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, where it now hangs in the Hopps Museum.

The model builder, Southwestern Adventist alum John Beach, worked largely from Rodgers’ book and the one extant photo of Slats sitting in Old Soggy. “I didn’t do it intentionally,” Beach says, “but the right wing kind of droops a little bit.”

Longtime Air & Space/Smithsonian contributor Preston Lerner came across Old Soggy No. 1 while working as a newspaper reporter in Texas.

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