First Alabama-Made Airbus Takes Flight to Delight of Hundreds of Mobile Spectators

This isn’t the first time Mobile, AL, has been involved in a historically significant aviation moment, and if everything goes according to plan, it certainly won’t be its last. Local CBS affiliate WKRG reports that about two hundred people showed up to Doyle Park, right next to the Brookley Aeroplex, in mid-March to watch as the very first Mobile-made Airbus jet took flight.

“We had to get out here and see this,” said Mike Moris, whom used to live in Mobile but now resides in Louisiana.

“This is very significant,” added Robert Battles, who grew up in the Brookley neighborhood and is now a Mobile County School Board Commissioner.

One Mobile-area resident even thought the moment was important enough to pull his three kids out of school to have them there at 9:36 am as the Jet Blue A321 took off.

“I took them out of school,” said Micheal Fillers. “I thought it would be a historic event and I want them to see what Airbus is really like. So, there’s nothing better than being under an airplane when it takes off.”

Today, more than eight million people fly through the air every day, but many don’t realize Mobile has played a role in aviation development since the beginning in this country.

While many outside of Alabama may think of the Wright Brothers when it comes to the first attempts at flying in the U.S., many Mobile residents are quick to point out that a man named John Fowler actually developed the first glider “flying machine.” According to, his first flight took place six years before that of the Wright Brothers.

Ever since Airbus decided to touch ground in Mobile, local residents have followed their process closely, anxiously awaiting the opportunities and pride the new manufacturing base might be able to provide for them.

“It’s a big deal for us, for the city, a big deal for the future of aviation in Mobile,” said Rod Cromer. “Mobile is once again going to be an aviation city… There will be hundreds to come after it but they’ll never be another first one.”