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I Believe I can Fly

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Hey, Flight Fans!

If there’s no greater thrill for you than taking off in a giant piece of metal that goes soaring through the sky, you’re not alone. Lots of people think flying is the greatest. Planes are undeniably awesome. In fact, the Blue Angels just performed a show on the Fourth of July weekend this summer—they’re a hit! That’s why we have National Aviation Day. They did it!

In celebration of this awesome holiday, I thought I’d give you these five little-known-facts involving the Wright Brothers—the fathers of Human Aviation.

1.) Did you know that inspiration and obsession with flight was instilled in the Wright Brothers from a young age in 1878 when their father gifted them with a flying model helicopter made out of cork, paper, bamboo, and powered by a rubber band. The boys were hooked.

2.) In an issue of The New York Times from 1903, the paper published their prediction that building a flying machine would not be possible for another 1 to 10 million years. Later in 1903, the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.
This is it---the original Wright flyer!3.) The Wright Brothers flew together just once in 1910. Scared to lose his sons to flying accidents, Milton Wright (the Wright father) made his sons promise to never fly together. Milton, however, allowed them to fly together one beautiful day in May. He too, at 82 years old, went for a ride with his son Orville piloting. As they gained elevation, Milton’s said to have shouted, “Higher, Orville, higher!”

4.) The Wright Flyer from 1903 flew for one day and never again. Four flights were made in the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903. Before taking the Flyer up for one last flight for the day, a heavy wind tossed the aircraft around, flipping it over several times. The damage done to their aircraft was irreparable and it was never flown again. aviation was one small step for mankind that led to one gigantic step.

5.) Neil Armstrong, like the Wright family was from Ohio. Standing on the Wright shoulders of human aviation, Armstrong took a piece of wood from the original 1903 Wright Flyer’s left propeller to the moon with him, honoring Orville and Wilbur who helped to make space travel possible.

As #2 insinuates, outlook was not good in the early 1900s concerning human aviation. We had little to no idea what we were talking about. One thing’s for sure—we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without the Wright Brothers and their dedication/obsession with conquering the ability of flight.

Enjoy the video below depicting many early, failing attempts of flight. Happy Aviation Day and, as always, thanks for reading.


- John

Posted in History Lessons


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