Athens in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Ben T. Epps
Georgia's Pioneer Aviator
Ben T. Epps - Georgia's First in Flight -- designed, built and in 1907 flew the first airplane in the State of Georgia. He was born in Oconee County, educated in Clarke County, and attended Georgia Tech. A self-taught aviator, aircraft designer, and builder, Epps built the 1907 Monoplane in his shop on Washington Street in Athens and designed and flew new airplanes in 1909, 1911, 1916, 1924, and 1930. The 1924 Epps Monoplane weighed only 350 pounds, had a wingspan of 25 feet, and was powered by a two-cylinder motorcycle engine. Designed for the average man, easy to fly, and inexpensive to operate, it would get 25 miles per gallon at 60 miles per hour.
Epps began operation of an airport at this location in 1917, and operated a flying service for the next 20 years. In 1937, he died of injuries here after engine failure and the crash of his light biplane on take-off.
Erected 1987 by Georgia Department of Natural Resources. (Marker Number 029-16.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
Location. 33° 57.111′ N, 83° 19.429′ W. Marker is in Athens, Georgia, in Athens-Clarke County. Marker is on Ben Epps Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located in front of the passenger terminal at the Athens Ben Epps Airport. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1010 Ben Epps Drive, Athens GA 30605, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cook & Brother Armory Building (approx. 2.4 miles away); Cook & Brother Confederate Armory (approx. 2½ miles away); Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery (approx. 2½ miles away); Lt. Col. Jefferson M. Lamar, C.S.A. (approx. 2.6 miles away); Oconee Hill Cemetery (approx. 2.7 miles away); United States Navy Pre-Flight School (approx. 2.8 miles away); Old Athens Cemetery (approx. 2.8 miles away); Olympic Games in Athens (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
Also see . . . Entry on Epps in the New Georgia Encyclopedia. (Submitted on September 28, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
Categories. • 20th Century • Air & Space • Notable Events • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 1,307 times since then and 18 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on September 25, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?