"Celebrate The Success Of The Wright Brothers"  

Events Concerning The Wright Brothers

Last Update: Aug 1, 2009

From time to time I will be listing important events.  Also I have listed websites related to the Wright Brothers at the end of this page. ---- 

The Wright Memorial public Library in Dayton will be closed Aug. 16 until the 23rd due to the fact that the staff will be on furlough as a result of a drop in state funding. The library expects to receive about $358.000 less from the state this year than it received in 2008. Reference: Dayton Daily News, July 31, 2009


Dayton Air Show:

The Dayton air show reports a 2-day record attendance of 80,000. The show ended July 19, 2009. In addition, 1,200 people registered for the trade and technology show at the Exposition Center.


Wright Memorial Public Library Faces Severe Budget Cuts:

The Wright Library in Oakwood-Dayton, Ohio is faced with a $290,000 budget cut. Orville Wright once served as the Chairman of the library board. Debra Schenk, fiscal officer, says, "There is a myth that our library is endowed by the Wright brothers and that we will always have enough money."


Wright Brothers Patent File Missing:

The patent file holding the original documents covering the Wright machine is missing from the National Archives. The patent was issued in 1906. The file was last seen in 1980.

Sen. Grassley has demanded an accounting of all missing items saying that the loss of historical documents "robs our nation of its history and is completely unacceptable."


Hawthorn Hill and Wright Factory Buildings Join National Park Service: On March 30, 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation that added the Wright brothers' Home and the Wright factory buildings to the Dayton Heritage National Historical Park.

Hawthorn Hill in Oakwood was designed by Wilbur and Orville Wright and was the family home until 1948 when Orville died. Wilbur died in 1913 and never lived in the house.

The Wright Company factory buildings, on Home Avenue off West Third St., are the first U.S. buildings used  for the manufacture of airplanes. The buildings were acquired by Inland Div. of General Motors in 1923 and subsequently became part of the Delphi Corp. The buildings have been used for the production and automobiles for more than a century.


New Park Superintendent for Dayton: The National Park Service announced on Jan. 22, that Dean K. Alexander will be the new superintendent for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park. He will assume his new position on March 15. Alexander, 54,  is a 22-year park service veteran and a graduate of the University of Florida.


Wright Home Closer to being National Park. A bill has passed the Senate that includes incorporating the Wright Home and also the Wright brothers' first factory where they built their first commercial airplane, into the National Park. The Wright brothers' airplane factory is part of the closed Delphi Corp.'s Home Ave. auto-parts plant in Dayton and Hawthorn Hill is owned by the Wright Family Foundation.

Visitors to Dayton will be able to see their plane, their home, their factory and their bicycle shop.


National Hall of Fame Awards. The National Hall of Fame will award this years class of 2009 in Dayton on July 18. The awards will go to Eileen Collins, an Air Force test pilot and the first female shuttle commander; Russell Meyer Jr., former chairman and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co.; the late James Stewart, movie actor, WWII  bomber pilot and airpower advocate; and the late Edward H. White II, an astronaut in the Gemini and Apollo space programs who was also an Air Force test pilot who graduated from Oakwood High School.

The Hall has also chosen the Apollo astronaut crews to collectively receive the hall's , "Spirit of Flight" award given annually to recognize achievements that have advanced aviation. These awards will be presented on July 17 in Dayton.


Aviation Heritage Event in Dayton for 2009. Dayton will observe the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' homecoming parade this summer.


Wright Brothers 105th Anniversary. The occasion was celebrated in Dayton and Kitty Hawk. Amanda Wright Lane, great grand niece of the Wright Brothers attended the Dayton celebration. She noted that "its an emotional family moment ... The family always spoke about it very matter-of- factly ... We always spoke about the men, not the flying machine that changed the world. I think about how much they would love to be a part of the future of aviation aerospace. I think they could see the future."

The feature speaker at the National Memorial in Kitty Hawk was Herb Kelleher, chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines Co. He said, "Just like the Wright Brothers, Southwest Airlines and its people defied all doubters and pessimists to create a great success story. We are an airline that broke the mold in the aviation industry, and we intend to keep on breaking it"

The usual flyover at both sites had to be cancelled because of bad weather.

References: John, Ursch, Greene County Dailies and staff, Dallas Business Journal


Aviation Park Chief to Retire. Larry Blake, superintendent of the Dayton Aviation National Historical Park who led the park's celebration of the 2003 centennial of the Wright brothers' demonstration of flight, plans to retire later this year. Blake, 58 has been with the the park service for 34 years.

Big Celebration at Ft. Myer

Come to the Fort Myer Centennial of Military Aviation, Saturday, September 6, 2008. The all-day open house will feature the world’s only Wright Model A Fort Myer Flyer, built by the Wright Experience for the Discovery of Flight Foundation. This will be the only time in 100 years to see the Model A Flyer at Fort Myer!

This is a FREE, family event open to the public highlighting the 100-year anniversary of the Wright brothers’ flight trials at Fort Myer. Enjoy flight simulators, interactive museum exhibits, service displays, musical performances, re-enactors and activities for the entire family.

Parking is not available at Fort Myer. Shuttle service provided at Pentagon North Parking (Boundary Channel Drive at Washington Blvd) and Fort Myer’s Wright Gate (North Meade Street and Marshall Drive. Events: 8:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.fmmc.mil/

Tour Closing at Wright Brothers Memorial: The tour inside the memorial at Kitty Hawk is closing on labor day 2008. The tour is conducted on Tuesday only and advance reservations are required.

Wing Warping: NASA has developed sensors that they can use in a system to adaptively control wing shape. They are currently seeking funds to flight test active wing-shape control. This would use a next-generation version of the test wing flown under NASA's Boeing F-15B research completed in 2001.

Air Force Established: On August, 1907 the U. S. Air Force had its beginnings as the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division.

Question: Contrary to plans, the 1928 silver anniversary commemoration of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk didn't feature a planned fly-over by squadrons of Naval airships from Virginia. Do you know Why?

Answer: Complaints from duck hunters.

Wright Brothers Memorial Renovations are Complete. You can now climb to the top on the winding stairs inside the memorial for a panoramic view from the platform at the top. Access is limited and reservations are suggested.

Wright Factories Buildings Closer to Joining National Park. A House committee recently approved a bill that would add The Wright Company Factory buildings to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and Amanda Wright-Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers, testified in support of the bill. The buildings are currently owned by Delphi Corp.

Dunbar Visiting Hours Trimmed: The visiting hours for the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio, have been cut because of budgets cuts by the Ohio Historical Society. Dunbar was a friend and fellow student of Orville at Central High School in Dayton. After graduation Dunbar published a newspaper and poems in Dayton that were printed by the Wrights' print shop. The new operating hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The Dunbar home is the final home of the poet and exhibits his literary treasures and many personal items such as a bicycle given to him by the Wright brothers.

A Table used by Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk Turns Up: A Table used by the Wrights' in their camp during the 1903 first flight was recently rediscovered as the result of its sale by a private party. It was first displayed publicly at the National Memorial on April 24, 2008. Experts claim that it is the real McCoy. Larry Tice, an expert on the Wright brothers and professor of history at East Carolina University,  claims that the table is the only documentable, significant furniture from the original Wright brothers camp of 1902-1903. If the curators of the National Park Service agree, it will be exhibited at the National Wright Brothers Memorial on loan from its owner.

Wright will receives Awards: Amanda Wright Lane, great grand-niece of Wilbur and Orville Wright, is to receive an award in Italy on May 9, 2008 commemorating the brother's achievements as aviation pioneers. She will also receive an award in Washington D.C. for public service on May 14 from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The home of General Henry "Hap" Arnold, who commanded U.S. Army air forces in World War II, has gone on sale in Sonoma Calif. Arnold had moved there after his retirement from the Army in 1946. He was taught to fly by Orville Wright in Dayton at Huffman Prairie flying field in 1911. He died in 1950 at age 63. The home is owned by his grandson, Robert Arnold.

For the first time ever, members of the Haskell family visited the Wrights' Hawthorn Hill Home. At the age of 51, Katharine married for the first time. The groom was former Oberlin College classmate Harry Haskell. Orville didn't approve of the marriage and in one of Orville's least proud moments, banished both of them from Hawthorn Hill. Katharine died three years later in Kansas City where she and her husband lived. Orville did visit his sister for the only time just before she died.

On April 15, 2008, relatives of the Haskell family visited Hawthorn Hill. Amanda Wright Lane, the Wright brothers' great-great-niece was there to joyfully welcome them.

Parachute Museum Receives Grant. The Parachute Museum in Dayton, Ohio received a grant of $10,000 from the Dayton Foundation. Aviation Trail opened the museum on the second floor of the organization's building at West Third and Williams streets near the historic Wright brothers bicycle shop. The second floor contained of the building at one time housed the Wright brothers' print shop.

The museum's exhibits follow the development of the parachute from its invention at Dayton's McCook Field after world War I to the use of chutes to help land today's spacecraft.

To The Moon. The Google X Prize has attracted 10 registered contestants for prizes totaling $30 million that will go to whoever lands a rover on the Moon by Dec. 31, 2010.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday March 5, 2008 approved a bill to rename the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The new name is Wright Brothers-Dunbar National Historical Park. The vote was 407-4. Passage in the Senate is expected. The bill included funding for operating the park.

Amanda Wright Lane, great grand-niece of the Wright brothers is to receive an award for public service in May 2008 from the America Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The citation will read: "for outstanding contributions to the aeronautics industry on national and international levels, and for dedicated efforts to preserve aviation history through education and outreach." She plans to attend the centennial celebration in Le Mans, France in July celebrating Wilbur's 1908 demonstrations flights in that city.

Wright Brothers Memorial, Kill Devil Hills is not the top tourist attraction in NC. The memorial ranks sixth. The top attraction is the Biltmore, Ashville where the attendance was 1,117,719. The Wright Brothers memorial had an attendance of 496,370.The survey was conducted by Carolina publishing Associates of Matthews, publishers of the annual Carolina Heritage Guide and Virginia Field Trips Magazines. The data was released on 02.18.08.

Orville Wright was buried 60 years ago. (Jan. 30, 1948). Headline in local paper proclaimed, "Orville Wright: Simple Man of Genius."

Four Dayton Wright Brothers' sites made the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List. The sites are: Huffman Prairie, Hawthorn Hill, Wright Flyer III housed in Wright Hall, and the Wright brothers' bicycle shop and printing business building. They will be on the list for at least a year and the U.S. can consider them for formal nomination anytine during the next 10 years to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  for addition to a global list of historically significant sites. Only two sites can be nominated in any one year. The four Dayton sites were among 14 sites chosen for the tentative list this year.

Lights Out: If you visit the outer banks in the near future, you will notice that the lights are out on the Wright Memorial. The rotating beacon has been removed for cleaning and repairs. Its the first time that the beacon, installed in 1932, has been turned off since 1998. The plan is to have it turned back on in 120 days. In the meantime, the floodlights that illuminate the monument will remain on.

A flyover and the Wright Family mark the 104th Anniversary in Dayton of the Wrights' First Flight. The ceremony was held at the Wright Memorial on the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Colonel Colleen Ryan, 88th Air Base Wing Commander hosted the event. 

Steven Wright, great-great-grand-nephew, and Amanda Wright Lane, great-great-grand-niece, attended the event on a cold snowy day.. At the wreath laying, Steve Wright commented, "In some ways I am thankful of the weather we have here today. It gives people some appreciation of what my great-grand uncles experienced at Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17th.  They battled the elements down there and I am just think of how thankful we are that people are still celebrating what they did."

Amanda Wright commented, "It was not so much they wanted to solve the problem of flight, rather it was to solve a problem that many smart people were not able to solve."

A C-5 Galaxy flew over at 10:35 am to end the ceremony.

Dayton is Considering Building an Aviation Themed-Park, Hotel and Conference Center. Dave Lightle has formed a company to promote the idea, located across the street from the Wright's historic bicycle shop. His first goal is to raise $1 million by May 2008. Lightie has been a consultant for the National Aviation Heritage Area that includes the National Museum of U.S. Air Force, Huffman Prairie Flying Field and other historic aviation sites.

AAA in Dayton Offering Travel Package for Wright Centennial in France. The celebration will be held in Le Mans where Wilbur flew in July 2008. The cost per person is $6,699

World Heritage list. Huffman Prairie, the site where the Wright brothers did their flying after 1903, has been nominated for inclusion on the World Heritage List. The list contains a group of sites deemed by an international panel as having outstanding universal value.

Celebration of the 102nd Anniversary of Practical Flight at Huffman Prairie. The celebration will occur on Oct. 5th at 0900. The feature attraction is the flight of a replica Wright Flyer.

Ohio to Host U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary Celebration. The celebration will be held during the last week of September. Special events will be held in Columbus at Rickenbacker Airport such as the gathering of Mustangs and Legends and a flyover of 51 Mustangs.

In Dayton visitors can explore The Wright Brothers at National Aviation Heritage sites and the Air Force Museum.

For information: 1-800-Buckeye

Dayton Planning Another Centennial:  Boosters of Dayton's aviation heritage envision a re-creation of the 1909 homecoming parade Dayton hosted in honor of the Wright brothers after their return from a triumphant demonstration of their flight capabilities in Europe. They are currently creating a community task force to plan the 2009 homecoming centennial.

Air Tours Grounded at Wright Brothers National Memorial. Mike Murray, park superintendent "said that we have concluded that providing airplane tours originating at Wright Brothers National Memorial is not necessary or in any way required to accomplish the park's mission or service objectives." Jay Mankedick, operator of Kitty Hawk Aero Tours said that Murray is depriving visitors to the park a marvelous experience they get no place else.

Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of Wilbur and Orville, attends Paris Air Show to promote Dayton internationally as a tourist destination for aviation heritage. Also attending are Mark Brown, former astronaut, and John Bosch, owner of the Commander Aero airplane refurbishing Business, and Dave Lightle, marketing consultant to the Dayton-based Aviation Heritage Foundation. Lane and Bosch are trustees of the foundation. The show runs June 18-24, 2007.

Update: Buoyed by the warm reception in Paris aviation enthusiasts in Dayton plan to promote the city internationally as a destination for viewing the birthplace of aviation.

Wright brothers relative and Santos-Dumont relatives meet in Brazil. Amanda Wright Lane, great-grand-niece of the Wright brothers met with the grand-nephew of Brazil's most famous air pioneer, Mario Villares, on May 22. On 1906, Santos-Dumont made a straight-line public flight in France that measured one kilometer. A month later he flew more than 700 feet and won two prizes for the first flight longer than 100 meters. Brazil has claimed that Santo-Dumont made the first powered flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine before the Wrights.

During her stay in Brazil, Lane was able to see the Brazilian Air Force's Smoke Squadron which will perform at the Dayton Air show on July 28-29.

Tours of Historic Wright Family Home are on Hold. On June 9, 2007 he City of Oakwood planning commission rejected the application of the Wright Family Foundation to open for public tours the Hawthorn Hill home of the Wright family. Neighbors have opposed the tours. The foundation will appeal the issue to the Oakwood city council

North Carolina's "First in Flight" license plates may become obsolete. The state House voted 95-19 to replace the plate used since 1982, with a new design and motto. The House bill directs the commissioner of motor vehicles to hold a statewide contest for the new design and motto.

Land Donated for the Giant Wright Replica.  Three acres of land have been donated at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 75 just north of Dayton, Ohio. The site will be the location of a 20-foot-high replica of the Wright Flyer atop a 200-foot pedestal. A campaign is underway to raise the $5-6 million from private and public sources to build the statue.

Gravesite plaque for Wright brothers' relative presented. The Daughters of the American Revolution placed a memorial on May 12, 2007, at the gravesite of Dan Wright Sr., great-great grandfather of the Wright brothers. Dan Wright was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

Bike with a Ranger: The Dayton Aviation Heritage Historical Park is offering its second annual "bike ride" through the historical park sites. There will be short and long rides. The long rides will visit such sites as Hawthorne Hill in Oakwood and Woodlawn Cemetery. For detailed information contact park ranger, Arthur Currence, at [email protected]/

The National Aviation Hall of Fame: This years Enshrinee Class consists of Walter J Boyne, founder of the National Air and Space Museum; Sally K. Ride, first woman to orbit the earth; Frederick W. Smith, founder of Federal Express; Evelyn Bryan Johnson, At age 94 has logged more flight hours than any other living person; and Steve Fossett, record breaker in balloons, sailboats, gliders and powered aircraft. Celebration in Dayton on July 20-21, 1907.

+ Worldwide Recognition. The Wright brothers' bicycle shop, 1905 Wright Flyer III, Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Hawthorne Hill are among sites proposed. The Park Service issued a nationwide solicitation for sites that the U.S. will consider for formal nomination to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to be evaluated for addition to a list of historically significant sites. Thirty six sites were submitted to the Park Service and are being evaluated. Recommended sites will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. The final list is expected to be submitted to UNESCO by Feb. 1, 2008

+ A museum honoring the Wright Brothers is trying to get off the ground in Montgomery Ala. The Maxwell Field Museum is scheduled to open in 2010. That's a century after the brothers opened the first civilian flying school in the country at what is now Maxwell Air Force Base. It was also the site of the first night flight.

+ John Glenn recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of his Friendship 7 flight in space on Feb. 20, 1962. Glenn spent four hours and 55 minutes in space and orbited the Earth three times. A the time some scientists feared that his eyes might change shape and he would slowly go blind. Also, there was fear that he might not be able to swallow in space.

+ A barnstormer, Anthony Jannus, was honored  on the 103rd anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight at the memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Jannus taught himself to fly and piloted the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line in 1914. He was killed in an airplane crash in the Black Sea at the age of 27.

+ President Bush in a proclamation issued today proclaimed December 17, 2006 as Wright Brothers Day. "Today, our Nation follows the Wright brothers' example of innovation as we continue to explore the frontiers of air and space. My Administration has outlined a vision for space exploration that includes a return to the moon and a long term human and robotic program to explore Mars and the solar system. By working to expand the realm of the possible, we can gain a better understanding of the universe and continue the journey that the Wright brothers began more than a century ago."

+ Steve Fossett and Sally Ride are among those who will be inducted into the National Aviation Hall of fame in Dayton. Fossett holds world records in ballooning and with powered aircraft. Ride is the first U.S. woman in space.

+ First Flight Celebration - Dayton. The First Flight Ceremony will be held at the Wright Memorial, Wright-Patterson AFB at 10:00 am on Dec. 15, 2006. Following the ceremony there will be an unveiling of a 1911 military simulator at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center. Contact 937.425.0008 for more information.

+ Glen Curtiss honored. Along with two over aviators, Glen Curtiss is to be inducted in the Florida Aviation Hall of fame on Dec. 15, 2006.

+ The Wright brothers are listed as 23rd on 100 most influential Americans list. The list appears in the December issue of The Atlantic. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson headed the list. The list was created by a panel of 10 award winning historians and authors.

+ Mars Plane: The birthplace of aviation - Dayton's Wright-Patterson AFB - is helping researching learn how to fly on other worlds. A team of NASA, Air Force and Navy researchers used a unique wind tunnel to test a concept for an unmanned Mars airplane. Like a baby bird hatching in mid-air, the plane would hit the Martian atmosphere tucked inside a space capsule, then pop out, unfold its wings and start flying. 

+Wing Warping: A California Co. , NextGen Aeronautics, recently flew an unmanned aircraft equipped with a wing that changed shape (morphed) while in flight. The design can change area, chord, sweep and aspect ratio. Company officials say it it is the first step in developing UAV that can quickly change shape for different flight conditions.

+  Wrights' Lawyer honored with statue. Harry Toulmin, the Springfield, Ohio lawyer was honored with a 8-foot sculpture in bronze statue in Springfield commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1903 flying machine patent. Toulmin handled a total of 5 patents for the Wright brothers over a period of 11 years.

+ Wright B-1 Displayed at U. S. Naval Academy. The Wright Experience built airplane is a reproduction of the first aircraft built by the Wright brothers delivered to the U.S. Navy in 1911. It hangs from Dahlgren Hall and can be lowered for close examination as a teaching aid. It is expected to be flown by the Wright Experience later this year.

+ Laura Bush will visit Wright-Dunbar Village. The First Lady will visit the historic district located along West Third St. in Dayton. The visit is a private visit.

+ Storm at Huffman Prairie. A severe storm on Aug.3 destroyed the exhibit tent that is used during the summer to display the Wright B flyer at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Fortunately, the Flyer was not in the tent at the time of the storm.

The Flyer will be moved back to the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Miamisburg where it will continue on exhibit.

+John Glenn.  John Glenn, 85, and his wife Annie,86, were injured in a recent  automobile accident in Columbus, Ohio. Neither Glenn or his wife were seriously injured. They were released from the hospital Sunday August 6, 2006. Glenn suffered a minor fracture in his sternum. His wife suffered bumps and bruises.

Glenn quote: "I do not recommend you go test your air bags the way we did the other night."

+ Tuskegee Airman. The Congress voted back in March to bestow its highest honor on the Tuskegee Airman, the Congressional Gold Medal. It is now August and they still don't have the medals. Of the 994 black aviators who got their training at the Tuskegee Institute in 1942, only 388 are still alive.

Changes in the design of the medal is one reason said to cause the delay. The current schedule is that the medals will be available sometime next year.

+ World's First manned Flight powered by batteries. On July 16, an airplane powered by 160 AA-size Oxyide dry cell batteries flew a distance of 391.4 meters at an altitude of 5.2 meters for 59 seconds. The one seat airplane weighed 54 kilograms and had a wingspan of 31 meters. The batteries were Panasonic and the company worked  with the Tokyo Institute of Technology to design the airplane.

+ National Air and Space Museum Celebrates 30th Anniversary. Tom Crouch, a curator and historian at the museum noted that one explanation for the continuing success of which the museum, which receives approximately 9 million visitors per year, is that "there's something about flight --- that has an intrinsic appeal to people."

+ A Dayton entrepreneur has offered to buy Delphi's Home Ave. plant. This could be good news. Delphi is in bankruptcy and the Home Ave. location is also the home of the Wright brothers historic airplane manufacturing buildings. Delphi never opened these buildings to the general public. The National Park Service has plans to add these buildings to the national park. Maybe this could happen under a new owner.

+ Peter H.Diamandis, founder/chairman of the X-Prize Foundation is among the winners of a 2006 Lindburgh Award, awarded by the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation.

+ The Vectren Dayton Air Show will be held Friday-Saturday, July 29-30. Flying acts are held 10:30 - 4:30 p.m.

+ Wright brothers neighborhood under revitalization. The nonprofit Wright Dunbar Inc. in Dayton has pushed the revitalization of the commercial corridor just west of downtown where the Wright brothers invented the airplane and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar began his career. Twenty-one tenants have moved into formerly vacant buildings, including a sandwich shop, cafe, radio station, art gallery, medical practice, law office and various government offices.

+ Wright Brothers Museum planned for Montgomery. A group of aviation history enthusiasts has asked the Montgomery City Council for land adjacent to Maxwell AFB to honor Wilbur and Orville. They propose to build a $12 million museum next to the base. They hope to have it built in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight in Montgomery just four years away.

+ The commemoration of the granting of the patent for the Wright Brothers' Flying Machine through the efforts of Springfield, Ohio attorney Harry Toulmin, was celebrated May 17, 2006 in Springfield. Historian, Betty Darst was the featured speaker. She explained that the Wright brothers traveled on the interurban streetcar from Dayton to Springfield to meet with Toulmin.

The annual Dayton air show is scheduled for July 29 and 30 at Dayton International Airport. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be the headline act. Other highlights include a "Heritage Flight" of an F-16 fighter jet and the World War II-era P-38 Porky II, F- 16 and AV-8B Harrier jet demonstrations, and a massive B-52 bomber and C-5 transport on  ground display.

+ Recently a district east of downtown Dayton homes dating back to the 1800's were open to the public. The area is known as the Huffman district after William P. Huffman who founded the Huffy Bicycle Co. The land in the district was once owned by Huffman. That is not the only land he owned. He also owned the farm land that became known as Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers perfected their airplane.

+ Eileen Collins, the first woman ever to pilot and command a space shuttle, said yesterday that she will leave the U.S. space agency. She says she wants to spend more time with her family and pursue other interests. Collins became the first female commander on the 1999 Columbia flight.

 + U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and Amanda Wright, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers, are asking a house subcommittee to support renaming Dayton's national park from "Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park" to "Wright Brothers-Dunbar National Historic Park." The reason for the change is to more accurately describe the park's purpose - to highlight the work and accomplishments of the Wright brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The change is backed by the Bush administration.

+ Wilbur Wright's birthday is April 16, 2003. Events in Dayton and the Outer Banks celebrate the occasion.

 In Dayton, Nick Engler will be awarded the annual Trailblazer Award awarded by Aviation Trail Inc. President Marvin Christian cited Engler, "This man--by his will power and determination--has accomplished so much to raise awareness nationally of the Wrights' feats that the entire Dayton community should be very proud of him. This honor is ours in presenting this award in the 25th year of our organization."

Engler's current focus is on building a replica of the Wright brothers' first passenger plane which flew in 1908. His educational goal is to involve kids from schools in all 88 Ohio counties in building the craft. He plans to fly it, "The Spirit of Ohio," at Kitty Hawk in 2008.

At the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, there is a two-day festive celebration on April 15 and 16. The event is co-sponsored by the National Park Service, the First Flight Society and Kitty Hawk Kites. The Wright Experience and the Discovery of Flight Foundation will highlight the revolutionary advances the Wright brothers made after the flights of 1903.

There will be a birthday cake and games for children including building flying of kites.

+ Report from Betty Darst of Dayton. She is working with Oberlin College to raise money to restore the fountain honoring Katharine Wright. The city of Pau is having an air show over the weekend of the June 16th, 17th and 18th and opening a museum honoring the Wright brothers.

+ Glenn receives award for space flight. Sen. John Glenn received the Ambassador of Exploration Award on the 44th anniversary of his historic flight when he became the first American to orbit the earth. Ohio State U. President Karen A. Holbrook presented the award. Neil Armstrong was also in attendance. The award will be displayed in the John Glenn Institute in Page Hall on the OSU campus. NASA is honoring the 38 men who made up the first generation of Astronauts.

+ Ticket prices at the Wright Brothers National Memorial will be raised on April 22. The new per person fee will be $4.00. The receipt will be valid for 7 days. Those 15 and under will be admitted free. Information: 252.473.2111 ext. 122.

+ Wright centennial celebrations in France. Le Mans is planning a celebration in 2008. Pau is planning on having one June 10, 1909.

+ The National Park Service has released a proposed management plan for its Dayton Aviation Heritage park. Document can be downloaded at www.nps.gov/daav/ Click Management Documents link.

+ The Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. will showcase Dayton's aviation heritage with a 3-month exhibit in the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. Director Nick Engler said that the exhibit will open Feb. 4.

+ The sculpture monument of the first flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park was completed on Dec. 16 with the addition of 3 bronze life size figures. In addition to the stainless steel Flyer and the Wright brothers, the other figures are: Johnny  Moore, Cephus Brinkley, W.S. Dough, Adam Etheridge and John T. Daniels.

+ First Flight Celebration Events in Dayton: Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson who made the daring spacewalk beneath Space Shuttle Discovery in July will speak at the anniversary dinner on Friday Dec. 16. The late Bessie Coleman, the first black female pilot and the first to hold a pilot's license, will be inducted in the Aviation Hall of Fame. The National Park Service will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Wright Memorial at 10:35 accompanied by a flyover.

+ The Wright Brothers Trophy. Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr. has been has been selected to receive the 2005 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy presented annually by the National Aeronautic Association. The trophy, which was first awarded in 1948, is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States. The trophy will be presented during the Wright Memorial Dinner, hosted by the Aero Club of Washington on Dec. 16 in Washington D.C.

+ Celebration of first powered flight on Dec. 17, 2005 at the Wright Brothers Memorial will honor Captain Albert Berry, the first man to jump from a moving airplane, and Tiny Broadwick, the first woman. For additional information about events go to www.firstflight.org or call 252.441.1903.

+ Amanda Wright Lane, great-grand niece of Orville and Wilbur, recognized as one of the ten top women in Dayton for her community volunteer service.

+The College Park Aviation Museum received a $25,264 grant from the state of Maryland to complete a video history of the airport. The Wright brothers founded the airport, which is the world's oldest continually operating airport

+Memphis Belle at New Home at The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton. It is now undergoing extensive restoration. Because of extensive corrosion, the job may take 7-10 years.

+Attendance at the Wright Brothers National Memorial declined last year by nearly 300,000, or 41%. The big decrease is because in 2003 attendance soared to 700,000. Even so, last years attendance was lower than levels for 2,000, 2001 and 2002.

+ Centennial of the Flight of the First Practical Airplane

A momentous event in the history of the airplane occurred 100 years ago on October 5, 1905. It was the first flight of the first practical airplane piloted by Orville Wright over Huffman Prairie, a cow pasture in Dayton, Ohio

On that occasion Wilbur flew thirty circles over the field, landing only when fuel was exhausted. He had flown 30 circles covering over 24 miles in 39 minutes 23 4/5 seconds, exceeding the sum of all 109 flights made in 1903 and 1904.

He demonstrated that the Flyer was capable of taking off, flying for an extended period of time under the control of the pilot, and landing safely.

It was the culmination of nine years of research, disappointment, brilliant engineering, risk of serious injury, disparagement and ultimate success.

In honor of this historical occasion, the University of Dayton sponsored, Celebration of Practical Flight, October 3-8, 2005.

Snapshot of Program

Learn: Lectures on the legacy of the Wright Brothers.

Visit: Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

Meet: authors, historians, re-enactors and researchers.

Visit National Museum of the Air Force.

Experience: Recreation of the historic flight of the Wright Flyer III at Huffman Prairie.

Visit: Carillon Histological Park, Home of the real Wright Flyer III.

Enjoy: National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Explore: Wright State University special Collections and Archives.


+The Memphis Belle is moving back to the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton. The airplane was restored and placed on display in Memphis for 59 years. The museum in Memphis has had trouble in recent years raising money to properly maintain the old plane. The Memphis Belle was the first aircraft to complete 25 bombing missions in Europe during WWII with all its crew members intact.

+ Orville Wright’s Birthday-August 19, National Aviation Day Celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, NC. Activities take place from 9-5. Host is Tom Crouch, Smithsonian Institution and author of Bishop Boys.

+ Orville Wright’s Birthday-August 19, National Aviation Day in Dayton, Ohio. Luncheon at 1 p.m. in the Engineers Club. Charles Taylor II, great-grandson of the mechanic, Charles Taylor, who built the engines for the Wright Brothers is the speaker. Information (937) 443-0793

+ 100th Anniversary of the First Practical Airplane-Flyer III. On Oct. 5, 1905 Wilbur flew 30 circles over Huffman Prairie in Dayton, Ohio. He kept the machine in the air for 24.5 minutes, 39 minutes. This flight proved that the Wrights had developed the first practical airplane. In celebration of this event the University of Dayton is hosting a conference, Celebration of Practical Flight, Oct. 3-8, 2005. The conference will include lectures on the legacy of the Wright Brothers, simultaneous international roundtable of experts, visit to National Museum of the Air Force, recreation of the historic flight at Huffman Prairie and much more. Contact Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education at (937) 229-2347.

+ Richard Branson and Steve Fossett will attempt to beat the airplane and balloon records for the longest flight by 4,000 miles. Fossett will use the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. This is the same Burt Rutan designed aircraft Fossett used in his nonstop around the world flight in March. The current airplane record for distance without landing is the Rutan designed Yoyager, which flew 24,987 miles in 1986. The balloon record was set by the Breitling Orbiter 3, which flew for 25,361 miles in 1999.

+ Michael Melville said soon people will be able to do more than look at a private space ship in a  museum. He said 15,000 already have signed up to be among the first to take a trip into space when successors to SpaceShipOne go into service three or four years from now. The first space tourists will pay about $200,000 per seat, he said. But eventually, it will get down to about the price of a luxury car, $30,000 to $40,000. (Dayton Daily News, James Cummings, 8.01.05.)

+ The Space Shuttle Discovery is carrying a tiny memento from the the city where powered flight began.  It's a brass model of the 1903 Wright Flyer, made by students at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. Its thin wings span four inches and the whole thing weighs less than an ounce.

+ A documentary is being filmed at Huffman Prairie about what Orville and Wilbur accomplished there in 1905. A replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer III will be flying in the film. The name of the film is "The Race for Flight." It will be shown at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center beginning May 2006.

+ In a dedication ceremony at Wright-Patterson AFB on July 1, 1905, life size bronze statues of Orville and Wilbur were revealed in the "Field of Dreams" Memorial. The Field of Dreams includes several models of various aircraft near the acquisition complex in Area B, such as the F/A 22 Raptor, F-117Nighthawk and B-2 Spirit. A 1909 Wright Flyer is the centerpiece and resides near the area B visitors center. The statues were added directly to the Wright Flyer. Orville as pilot and Wilbur on the ground observing.

+ Wing Warping Works. A NASA flight research project, designed to test a derivative of the Wright brothers' concept of wing warping to control aircraft turns, indicates the concept works, even at supersonic speeds. The high-tech version of wing warping may make modern planes more maneuverable at high speeds, enable them to carry  heavier payloads or use fuel more efficiently.

+ The Aviation Trail is open in Dayton. Take a journey through the history of flight including Wright Cycle Company, Carillon Historical Park, Paul Laurence Dunbar House, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright Brothers Memorial Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Orville Wright's Laboratory Site, Wright Brothers Factory Site and many others. For more information call (937) 443-0793.

+ Aeronautical engineer, Walter Hoy, and architect, Stephen Brown, hope to build a large stainless steel replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer near the intersection of I-70 and I-75 just north of Dayton, Ohio. The 46,000-pound airplane would hover 100-150 feet off the ground and rest on 203 acres of land, including a visitor center. It is estimated that 120,000 motorists could see it each day. If they can raise the estimated $5 million needed, they hope to begin construction in three years.  

+ Dayton Air Show. The Dayton Air Show will be held July 15-17, 2005. Featured will be  F/A-22 Raptor and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds,

+ Aeronautical Research is no longer a priority. This is what employees at Langley Research Center were told by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin on May 13. The growth area for NASA is now space exploration. Langley's budget will be cut $230 million and will reduce the workforce about 1,000 employees over the next year.

+ In an abrupt change, Group Superintendent  Larry Belli was relieved of his duties at Cape Hatteras  (includes the Wright Brothers national memorial) and sent to the agencies regional office in Atlanta where he will serve in the concession division. The only reason provided by the park service was that the "immediate change was in the best interest of the park service."

He must have stepped on some very important toes or committed some other inexcusable act to necessitate an immediate change of assignment. Phil Francis, deputy superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was named as acting manager.

+ A former collections chief at the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton has been sentenced to one year in prison and fined $29,000 for selling an armored vehicle stolen from the museum. Prosecutors alleged that Scott Ferguson was responsible for 200 other items missing from the museum. (April 21, 1905)

+ October 5. 1905 marked the success of Wilbur and Orville and the practical flying machine at Huffman Prairie in Dayton. Betty Darst is working to celebrate the occasion with a program of research and celebration this October. On this day in 1905, Wilbur flew nonstop 24 1/5 miles in 39 minutes 23 4/5 seconds at an average speed of 38-mph.

+ The National Aviation Hall of fame located in Dayton, Ohio has announced the appointment of Ron Kaplan as the new executive director of the nonprofit organization.

+ The record-setting SpaceShipOne is retiring to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. It will reside in the museum's Milestones of Flight Gallery along with the 1903 Wright Flyer and Apollo 11 "Columbia."

+ The X Prize group raked in the annual Aviation Week 48th Annual Aerospace laurels. Peter Diamandis, Burt Rutan, Mike Melville, Brian Binnie, Pete Siebold and Doug Shane. received the Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award. The Laurel Legends went to America's women astronauts that were selected  in 1978 - Sally Ride, Kathy Sullivan, Rhea Seddon, Anna Fisher, Shannon Lucid and the late Judith Resnik.

+ The fee for the Wright Brothers National Memorial Annual Pass has been increased to $20 from $10. Most of the fee is used to enhance visitor services and repair facilities within the Outer Banks Group

+ A wreath laying ceremony was held in Dayton, Ohio at the Wright Memorial on the 101st anniversary of the Wrights' First Flight. The guest speaker was Lt. General Richard  V. Reynolds, Air Material Command vice commander. Members of the Wright family were in attendance. 

+ Newly passed legislation signed by President Bush creates a new National Aviation Area comprising eight counties surrounding Dayton. A new Aviation Heritage Foundation is assigned as the designated management entity and will be eligible for up to $10 million over the next 15 years, depending upon how much the foundation can raise in matching funds.

+ Dayton is making plans to celebrate the centennial of the Oct. 5, 2005 flight of Wilbur Wright at Huffman Prairie in which he flew 30 laps, staying aloft for 39 minutes. That flight marked the end of their experiments and the beginning of their efforts to market the world's first practical flying machine. Nick Engler's Aeroplane Co. is hoping to raise the money and build a flyable replica of the 1905 machine and fly it at the centennial celebration.

+The recently passed appropriations bill contains funds for several projects related to the Wright brothers in Dayton. $650,000 to build a hanger at Huffman Prairie to store the replica of the Wright Model Model B airplane, $450,000 to restore a turn-of-the-century house between the Wright Cycle Shop and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park headquarters, and $275,000 for signs and exhibits for the entry of the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center.

+ On Nov. 28th, Burton Rutan was handed a $10 million check and a 150 pound trophy for winning the Ansari X-Prize. Rutan, designer of SpaceShipOne, won the prize by blasting into space twice in five days last month. The ceremony took place in St. Louis.

+ The Air Force and Wright State University in Dayton are teaming up on a biotechnology research project to learn how to make revolutionary devices that work like living cells. The new research laboratory is the result of a community-based initiative that included getting Congress to add $2.5 million for local biotechnology research in the Air Force's fiscal 2003 research budget. The Air Force worked with the Wright Brothers Institute, a local nonprofit research organization, to set up the collaboration.

+ The Memphis Bell may not move to Dayton. Memphis officials and members of Congress want to reverse the decision. Pilot Robert Morgan, now deceased, wanted it to move to the Air Force National Museum in Dayton. Air Force will make a decision in 60 days.

+ AF museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base changes its name. The new name is National Museum of the United States Air Force. The new name of the 81-year old museum will more closely align the Museum with other museums such as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

+The Memphis Belle, one of the most famous airplanes of the world is moving from Memphis to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The Belle was one of the first B-17s to complete a required 25 combat missions over German occupied Europe.

+ Astronaut Gordon Cooper, 77, died Oct. 4th. He was one of the Mercury Seven Astronauts.

+ Festival of Flight organizers in Fayetteville decide not to default on their unpaid debt to vendors of $168,000. At this point they only have $1,000 in the bank which they will distribute. They will seek money from public and private sources to pay off the remaining debt.

+ Charlotte Jensen of Ramona Calif. claims that she owns an original 1898 Wright brothers bicycle. She says she bought it from the son of a man who owned it. She displayed it at the recent Ramona Antiques & Wine Festival. If true, this makes 6 Wright bicycles that are known to exist.

+Plane Crashes at First Flight Airstrip in NC. A single-engine Cessna 172 missed the runway by one-eight of a mile, landing in a drainage ditch behind the visitor center at the Wright Brothers Memorial. Plane was practicing touch and go landings in preparation for Youth Aviation Day on Sept 25 where five First Flight Elementary School fifth-graders were scheduled to fly. Pilot was alone and sustained injuries requiring Dare MedFlight to Sentara Norfolk Hospital.  After surgery he was reported to be in fair to good condition.

+ The 17-day event celebrating the Wright Brothers centennial anniversary in Dayton generated $68.5 million for the area's economy according to Wright State University's school of business. The study was funded by Inventing Flight, the committee that planned and promoted the event. 80% of the estimated 740,000 visitors were from Ohio despite spending $2 million on national advertising.

+ Orville Wright's 133rd birthday (National Aviation Day) will be celebrated at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on August 19th. The program will feature: Ken Hyde (Wright Experience), Kevin Kochersberger ( Centennial Flyer pilot), Tom Crouch (National Air and Space Museum), Marianne Miller Hudec (grandniece of Orville and Wilbur) and Amanda Wright Lane (great-great niece of Orville and Wilbur). Bill Harris, president of the First Flight Society, will be Master of Ceremonies. Festivities will start at 10:00 a.m.

+ On August 2nd, FAA honored four Southeast Alaska pilots with the Wright Brothers' Master Pilot Award for their 50 or more consecutive years of safe flight. Those honored were: Steve Thompson, Layton Bennett, Ken Eichner and Ken Loken.

+ More than 700,000 people and 12,000 planes are expected at the 52nd edition of AirVenture in Oshkosh that stared today. The theme this year is "Launching the Next Century of Flight." Burt Rutan, designer of SpaceShipOne, is of the participants. Also attending is actor Harrison Ford who will be taking over the reins of the EAA's Young Eagles program.

+ SpaceShipOne plans to renew flights in September. The last  flight in June flew about 62 miles above Mojave, California past the boundary of the earth's atmosphere. Rutan says he plans a qualifying flight on Sept. 29th followed by a 2nd flight as early as Oct. 4th. If successful he can win the $10 million Ansari X prize.

+ A letter signed by Wilbur Wright was sold on the internet last Thursday for $12,741. WOW!

+The centennial 17-day celebration in Dayton last year ended up with $5 million in debt. They were able to raise an additional $1.6 million in donations and cashed out $400,000 in assets. They were able to break even after creditors forgave about $3 million in debt. They had hoped to bring in $3.5 million in ticket sales, but their earned income was less than $1.2 million.

+The NC state commission created to run the celebration of the 100th anniversary on the Outer Banks is closing shop on June 30. State and federal governments spent $11 million on planning and putting on the event. Some of that money went to permanent improvements. Best news is they broke even and don't owe anybody!

+A New England auction will sell two Wright brothers letters. One is a 1925 letter written by Orville expressing his disappointment that the Flyer will not be displayed at the Smithsonian. The other letter was hand written by Wilbur in 1908. Orville's letter is expected to sell for around $4,000. Wilbur's letter is expected to go for a higher price. www.rrauction.com/ 

+Festival of Flight in Fayetteville will pay local bills from the county's hotel tax. Out-of-county vendors are still waiting for payment. Local donations raised $11,745 which will be paid evenly to them. That stills leaves $167,000 unpaid.

As of May 19, 2004, the EAA has flown 1,042,587 young people as part of their Young Eagles program.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrines this year are William Anders, Harriet Quimby, Jack Ridley and Patty Wagstaff. They will be enshrined on July 17 in Dayton, Ohio.

+Festival of Flight in Fayetteville still owes $48,462 to local businesses and $205,507 to out-of-town businesses. The Tourism authority plans to pay the local businesses. The out-of-towners are still in limbo. Among them is airplane exhibitor Nick Engler of Dayton, two fellows from Elizabeth City that played the role of Orville and Wilbur and Kitty Hawk kites.

+An Australian team is building a replica Wright Model A airplane. The wood for the machine cost $16,500 for 23 boards, 17 feet long. It was difficult to find a long grain timber with no knot holes in it that was that long. They procured the lumber in Alaska.

+The Wright Experience Team won a 2003 Aviation Week Laureate Award at a dinner ceremony on April 6, in the Smithsonian National air and Space Museum.

+Wilbur Wrights Birthday will be honored during a day-long celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on April 16. Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana  on April 16, 1867. The Memorial is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

+Dayton Aviation Hall of Fame: Friday, July 16, 2004, National Hall of Fame, President's Reception/ Dinner 7:30 P.M. -- Saturday, July 17, 2004, National Aviation Hall of Fame, 43rd Annual Enshrinement Ceremony/Dinner, "The Oscar Night of Aviation."

+This years enshrinees in the Aviation Hall of Fame are Apollo astronaut William A. Anders; the late Harriet Quimby, America's first officially licensed women pilot; the late Jack L. Ridley, pioneering flight test engineer and pilot: and air show headliner Patty Wagstaff, three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and the first women to win that title.

+Fifty-seven years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, NASA launched an experimental unmanned jet that flew over seven times the speed of sound.

+The French are preparing to honor Wilbur's flight at a Le Mans race track on Aug. 8, 1908. Sarthe Aero Retro, a group of 10 vintage airplane enthusiasts, are building a replica of the 1908 Model Flyer that Wilbur flew there.

+The 1903 reproduction Flyer that made a valiant attempt to fly at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 2003 is now on display at the Henry Ford complex's museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

+A group of local businessman gave $5,000 to help reduce the Festival of Flight debt. They hope others will help also.

+Fayetteville is still having trouble paying off their Festival of Flight debt. They plan to ask the state legislature to pay it off. City and county governments have not provided any money. They owe about $254,000 and only have $100 in the bank.

+The Wright Brothers National Memorial had 714,371 visitors during 2003.

+Dispute over insurance claim between NOVA and The Wright Experience concerning the wrecked Wright Model B replica still unresolved. If talks fail, they are scheduled to meet in mandatory arbitration in  Washington in April.

+John Profico of Keystone Helicopter is this years winner of FAA's Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. He is believed to be the first recipient of this prestigious award who has worked exclusively on helicopters.

+Gus McLeod of Baltimore, MD failed in his attempt to be the first pilot to fly pole to pole in a single-engine plane. He made two attempts to reach the South Pole, but was forced to give up when his wings iced over. He also was facing unpredictable weather with winds gusting up to 70 mph. His plane used a modern version of the canard design and he had hoped to celebrate the Wrights First Flight by his trip. He hopes to try again later this year.

+Festival of Flight in Fayetteville, NC is still trying to raise $263,000 to cover its debt. They are now in the process of raising money for Cumberland County's 250th anniversary celebration. This money will also be used to pay off the Festival of Flight debt.

+The first reported flight of a 1903 Wright replica in Australia flew on Feb. 9th. It flew for 8 seconds. John Delaney who restores vintage aircraft used plans obtained from the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and help from the South Australian Aviation Museum.

+Wright Experience team was selected by the editors of Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine  for a 2003 Laurels citation in the Aeronautics/Propulsion category. Team members included Ken Hyde, Scott Crossfield, Kevin Kochersberger and Terry Queijo. They will receive a Laureate in Washington on April at the National air and Space Museum. The team at the National Air and Space Museum will also receive a Special Achievement award.

+On Nov. 20 at Kill Devil Hills the flight of the reproduction Wright Flyer built by the Wright Experience was the first time in 100 years that a Wright Flyer was successfully flown and landed without damage using an authentic engine. Other organizations also flew replica Wright Flyers in 2003 with modern engines. The Wright Aerospace Company in Dayton, Ohio flew a Wright Flyer with a modern engine on Dec. 6. The Wright Redux of Glen Ellen, Ill. flew their replica last summer and again in October. Utah Sate University first flew a replica constructed with composite material in March, in Utah.

+Ken Hyde of Wright Experience and a group of sponsors behind the building of a reproduction of the Wright 1911 Model B airplane are stalled  because of an insurance squabble. Hyde crashed the plane in a test flight (ended up in a tree)and the insurance payment to rebuild the plane is being contested by NOVA who filmed the progress of the project. NOVA claims they deserve a portion of the insurance payment because the film would have been better if the plane had flown successfully. Some $200,000 of insurance payout is involved. Hyde says that eventually the plane will be built.

+I had the honor last week of speaking to the "Young at Heart Senior Adults" at the Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, NC. I spoke on how the Christian values taught to Orville and Wilbur by their father, Milton, gave them the passion and commitment to overcome significant obstacles and invent the first airplane.

Talking to the group.




+Tom Parramore, a historian, author and expert on North Carolina's first flight, died on January 14th, almost a month after the Wright brothers' centennial celebration. He was the author of the book "First to Fly: North Carolina and the Beginnings of Aviation."



+A Dayton-built Wright Flyer 1903 replica flew 150 feet in Dayton on Jan 7. The plane was built by Nick Engler's Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. The flight lasted an estimated six seconds and rose to between five and 10 feet above the ground. It had a good headwind of 24 mph. Connie Tobias, a U.S. Airways captain based in NC, was the pilot. (Jan 11)

+ It appears that President Bush will in the near future announce a new space program involving placing men on the moon and Mars. It will be a hundred years, almost to the month, after the Wright brothers first achieved controlled flight. (Jan. 9)

+ I was able to talk to Erik Lindbergh (grandson of Charles) at the Wright Centennial Celebration. To read article, go to archives/famous aviators. Title of the article is, Lindbergh vs Atlantic: The Sequel.

+Harry Combs, one of the great champions of the Wright brothers passed away on Dec. 23, 2003. He donated one of the reproduction Flyers built by the Wright Experience to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. He attended the celebration at the Memorial on Dec. 17 and said, "It has been my joy that I have been able to live my life in the rarefied field of aviation and I am proud to be able to give this gift to the American people."

He is the author of one of the best books on the Wright Brothers: Kill Devil Hill, Discovering the Secret of the Wright Brothers.


+Cheers & Jeers: Wright Memorial Centennial Celebration

Cheers for great events, speakers, exhibits and flyovers. Grade: A

Cheers to the Department of Transportation for the extraordinary shuttle system and traffic control. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a bus at either end. The drivers and staff at the arrival point were courteous and helpful. The point of departure for buses with different destinations was clearly marked and waiting lines clearly designated. Grade: A+

Jeers for Mother Nature for not providing sufficient wind on Dec. 17. Grade: F

Cheers for Wright Experience crew for valiant attempt to fly on Dec. 17. Grade: A+

Jeers for Reuters news headline on Dec. 17 that read, "Wright brothers reenactment flops in the mud." Grade: F

Cheers for the courteous, self controlled crowd. Grade: A plus

Jeers for building an expensive outdoor stage that couldn’t keep the rain off President Bush during his speech. Grade: F

Jeers for spectator paths that became lakes with angle deep muck during the rain. Grade: F



Jeers for placing guest speakers in the corner of the EAA Building, exposing them to the loud crowd noise within the building. Also, no one was assigned to introduce the speakers. Quality of speakers: Grade: A+, Noise pollution: Grade: D

Cheers for the volunteers who maintained a cheerful manner throughout the centennial. Grade: A

Jeers for the undefined waiting lines in the food tents that were overwhelmed by the crowd. We brought our own food after one experience. Grade: D

Jeers for holding panel sessions within the Wright Brothers Visitor Center that has inadequate space and sound system. Many people could not see nor hear the proceedings. Grade: D

Cheers for the estimated $15 million of visitor expenditures and estimated $10 million in infrastructure improvements. Grade: A

Jeers for attendance less than expected. Organizers had expected 35,000 per day to attend the centennial. There was only one day that estimated attendance exceeded 30,000 and that was on Dec. 17th. The worse day was Dec. 12th when estimated attendance was only 5,000. Grade: C

Cheers for the positive impact on local businesses. Many were able to recoup losses resulting from Hurricane Isabel. However, not all businesses shared in the increased income. Final economic impact still to be determined. Grade: B


+Inventing Flight officials in Dayton announced that they are close to erasing the $4 million debt incurred from the 17-day centennial flight held in July. About $200,000 debt remains. The Inventing Flight office has no one left on their payroll. The closing is being handled by volunteers and one hourly worker.

+I am back from Kitty Hawk and had a wonderful time. The wind didn't cooperate and I got drenched but it was a typical day in the life of the Wright Brothers.

+The millionth child to fly with an EAA pilot is Andrew Grant, 15, from Illinois. He was a passenger in a plane that flew over the Wright Memorial on Dec. 17th. He was accompanied by Gen. Chuck Yeager.

+Ceremony in Dayton: The annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Wright Memorial, above Huffman Prairie Flying Field, was held on Dec. 17. General Gregory S. Martin, commander of the Air Force Material Command at WPAFB, was the main speaker.

+Wright Experience Flyer was back in the air on  Nov. 20 and Dec. 3. Find out more on "Stories."

+Stories and pictures of Wright Experience Flyer crash can been seen in Archives."

+Ken Hyde's 1903 Wright Flyer flew 119 feet in its first test flight. (See "Stories for more.)

+Just weeks before the opening of the Smithsonian's new aviation museum (Udvar-Hazy Center) at Dulles Airport, 20 House members want the "Bud Light beer logo removed from a historic aerobatics plane. The airplane, Laser 200, won a number of U.S. aerobatics titles as well as the 1980 World Aerobatic Championship. The bright red plane was the first to be installed in the new building, hanging from one of the 10-story-high trusses.

+Aviation Heritage bill passes House. The bill, which still needs to pass the Senate, would authorize $10 million over the next 15 years to promote heritage tourism, develop public educational programs and preserve certain lands, structures and facilities in eight Ohio counties. A Senate vote is unlikely until after the holidays.

+Another pioneering aircraft may take to the sky for the first time  on Dec. It's an ultralight jet called Global Flyer. It will attempt one of aviations last grand challenges: a nonstop solo flight around the world. The aircraft is designed by Burt Rutan, one of aviation's most influential living designers.

+AP writer, Martha Waggoner provides distorted view of the Wrights in describing a new art exhibit celebrating centennial of flight in the NC Museum of Art. She writes, "Even Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton, Ohio, understood that the real market for their flying machine was with governments-specifically, the military. When the United States didn't bite immediately, no sense of patriotism stood between the Wrights and their willingness to peddle their airplane to other countries, including France, England and Germany."

+The U.S. House has voted to honor Orville and Wilbur Wright by naming the FAA headquarters in Washington DC for the "fathers of aviation."

+Dayton Aviation Heritage Foundation created in Dayton, Ohio. It is composed of 40 organizations representing the aviation community. Efforts are underway to have a multicounty region that includes the Miami Valley designated a National Heritage Area.

+Dedication of the Monument to a Century of Flight was held at the monument site Nov. 8, 2003 at Aycock Brown Welcome Center, Kitty Hawk, NC.

+Nick Engler's Wright Flyer Replica doesn't get off the ground. After 5 days of attempts at Currituck County airport, NC, about 40 miles from Kitty Hawk, Engler said that there wasn't enough wind to keep the machine airborne.

+Hurricane battered the Outer Banks. Beach Road (Rt. 12). one of only two north/south roads, badly damaged. No significant damage at the memorial park. Park is open. Officials say Wright Centennial activities will go on once cleanup is completed.

+Former astronaut and Senator John H. Glenn, Jr. has been named the winner of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association of Arlington, Va.

+A 2 hour documentary, The Wright Brothers: First in Flight, will be shown on the Discovery Channel. The program traces the efforts of the Wright Experience to "reverse engineer" the Wrights' design process as the reproduction aircraft is built. The first showing is on Sept. 19 at 11 p.m (EST). See tv guide for more dates and times.

+Monument to a Century of Flight was unveiled on Sept 28 at Kitty Hawk next to Aycock Brown Welcome Center.

+The Dayton Daily News reports that by thievery, carelessness, or both, America is losing hundreds of artifacts of its aviation heritage from the United States Air Force Museum at WPAFB. One of the items is the aging wooden pattern used to cast the engine that powered the 1903 Wright Flyer.

+Wright B Flyer breaks one of its drive chains and must glide to an emergency landing in Dayton. Fortunately there was only minor damage and no injuries. The machine is a look-alike Wright Brothers' 1911 model Flyer.

+Orville Wrights birthday was celebrated on August 19 at the Wright Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. Tom Crouch and Ken Hyde were among the speakers. See article on this web site.

+Buy Orville's boat. It is now on ebay (#2422069711). As of 12 Jul., one bid but reserve not met. Bidding has ended.

+National Park Service historian Darrell Collins received the state's highest honor by Gov. Mike Easley. Collins is an expert on the Wright Brothers. Read one of his talks: go to "archives." Select "The Kitty Hawk Years." Select "Conquest of the air, A Wright Brothers Commemoration."

+Top 100 Stars of Aerospace: Wilbur and Orville Wright the winners. Thousands of aerospace professionals around the world took part in poll sponsored by Aviation Week. Runners-up: 2.Wernher von Braun, 3. Robert Goddard, 4. Leonardo da Vinci, 5. Glen Curtiss. 

+A congressional resolution recognizing the upcoming Inventing Flight celebration in Dayton included language acknowledging Dayton as the birthplace of aviation. The House vote was 378-3, Senate vote was unanimous.

+The house of Paul Laurence Dunbar in Dayton regains glory as result of a $989,000 restoration of the house and adjacent visitor center. It is open and the improvements look great.

+Wright Brothers Sculpture: A life-sized sculpture of the famous scene that John Daniels snapped  the moment the Flyer first found lift has been installed a the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The unveiling of the bronze and steel piece including John Daniels taking the famous picture was conducted in December. At a latter date the other witnesses of the event will be added.

 +Festival of Flight: A replica of the Wright "Vin Fiz" airplane that made the first transcontinental flight across the U.S. flew at the festival. (See "archives/Famous Wright Airplane Flights" for the story). Unfortunately a strong wind caught the plane while parked and crashed it against a fence. No one was injured.

+Wright B Flyer Inc re-enacted Wilbur Wright's 1909 flight around the Statue of Library on Memorial Day.

+Stamp: The First Flight Commemorative postage is on sale at local post offices.

+Coins: First Flight commemorative coins will be on sale August 1. There will be gold, silver and clad coins available. www.usmint.gov/ or (800) USA-MINT

Links To Related Sites:

Radio Station WCRS Akron, Ohio

Wright Brothers Aerospace Company 

U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission 

First Flight 

Wright Brothers National Memorial 

EAA/Countdown to Kitty Hawk 

National Air and Space Museum 

Aviation World's Fair 

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park 

AIAA 1903 Replica Wright Flyer Tour

First Flight Society

Heritage Collector's Society

Soar to Success

Rockefeller Center, NY

Dreams of Flight Project

Space Wander



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