Pioneers of Flight: The Wright Brothers

The innovators who are credited with the invention of the airplane, Wilbur and Orville Wright, grew up and constructed various designs in Dayton. Human desire to imitate birds and create “flying machines” had gained nation-wide attention at the turn of the 20th century. The Wright Brothers were intrigued by this and had gained engineering experience through their work as bicycle manufacturers. After producing and testing several successful glider plans, the Wright Brothers added an engine to their plane, the Flyer. On December 17, 1903, Orville successfully piloted the first powered and human controlled flight. While the flight only last 12 seconds, the event is considered a landmark in American history. The test flights were located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina due to the regular breezy wind conditions and sandy beaches for soft landings.

While it is common knowledge that an Ohio-Michigan rivalry exists, Ohio’s other great rivalry is with North Carolina. Both states claim that it is the “Birthplace of Flight” and their commemorative quarters both feature the Wright Brothers plane. In the spirit of generosity, Ohio eventually changed its state slogan to the “Birthplace of Aviation” to encompass the space related feats of Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

 

 

 

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