WASHINGTON, July 28, 1909 (UP) - Orville Wright, with Lieut. Frank P. Lahm of the United States army signal corps as passenger, broke the world's aeroplane records for time and length of flight at Fort Myer Tuesday evening by flying over 50 miles in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. He averaged about 40 miles an hour. President Taft, who saw the test, congratulated Wright.
On Orville Wright's last attempt to fly with a passenger, Lieut. Selfridge was killed and the aeronaut himself was seriously injured by an accident on the field which Tuesday evening was the scene of the flight in which Orville not only satisfied the first of the government tests, but beat the record his brother Wilbur made in France. The speed test the Wrights expected to try Wednesday.
The endurance test required the Wrights to remain in the air one hour continuously with a passenger. Orville said he could have stayed up to the limit of his fuel capacity, three and one-half hours.
Lieut. Lahm and Wright took their places in the aeroplane at 6:30. "I'd like to have Kentucky grass on my grave," was Lahm's sober reply to a joking request for any message he wanted to leave. The lieutenant after the flight said he had not moved a muscle except once to scratch his nose, and was stiff from the long strain.
The moon was out, thousands were cheering and horns were blowing when the completion of the seventieth turn fulfilled the hour test. Orville kept on to beat his brother's mark. The landing, precipitate because of unlevel ground, was made almost on the spot where Lieut. Selfridge was killed.
Captive balloons, marking out the straightaway course over which Wilbur is to fly in the final test, were placed in position early Wednesday. The Wrights hope to earn the $10,000 bonus over the contract price of $25,000 by reaching a 44 miles an hour speed.