Wednesday, Aug 17, 2005
Orville Wrights birthday and National Aviation Day will be celebrated at Wright Brothers National Memorial on Friday, August 19, 2005. Orville Wright, the first man to fly, was born 134 years ago in Dayton, Ohio on August 19, 1871, the sixth child of Bishop Milton and Susan Wright. National Aviation Day was established by presidential proclamation in 1939, which designated the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday as an annual day of observance to mark the milestone of manned, powered flight. Orville Wright made the first flight of 12 seconds and 120 feet at the site of Wright Brothers National Memorial at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903.
Tom Crouch, of the National Air and Space Museum, will open the official program at 10 a.m. in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Auditorium. Patrick Reed, Acting Superintendent, Outer Banks Group; Sherry Rollason, Mayor, Kill Devil Hills, and Bill Harris, President of the First Flight Society, will welcome everyone to the celebration.
At 10:15 a.m. Colonel James M. Holmes, Commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina will give the keynote address. The 4th Fighter Wing is home to the multi-role, all-weather F-15E Strike Eagle providing world-wide deployable aircraft and personnel capable of executing combat missions in support of the Aerospace Expeditionary Force. Colonel Holmes is a command pilot with over 3,000 flying hours in the F-15. Colonel Holmes will join Tom Crouch in cutting Orvilles birthday cake and lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday.
From 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. visitors can join descendants of the original crew of the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station, dressed in authentic costume, as they reminisce about the old days at the restored Wright brothers Camp Building.
From 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Wright Experience, the Discovery of Flight Foundation, and the Wright Family will all be represented at the celebration for National Aviation Day. This year's celebration will highlight the revolutionary advances the Wright brothers made after their first flights of 1903. Visitors will meet a member of the Wright family, see an original Wright engine, discover how the propellers were carved, and have a chance to fly the 1911 Wright Model B simulator and more.
At 11:00 a.m. step back in history with a National Park Service Ranger during a short walk to the actual site of the worlds first powered flight.
At 11:15 a.m. there will be a fly-by of F- 15s Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, NC.
At 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Auditorium, Janette Yoerg, a great grand niece of the Wright brothers and Foundation Board Member, will introduce a lecture about the Wright brothers after 1903. Ken Hyde will follow, discussing the aircraft of 1904, 1905, and the Wrights' return to Kitty Hawk in 1908. Paul Glenshaw, Director of the Discovery of Flight Foundation, will present film footage of the Wright brothers aircraft in flight, including Orville Wright's last flight of 1918.
At 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Flight Room Auditorium at the Wright Brothers Visitor Center, Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Historian, Division of Aeronautics, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution will present programs about the Wright brothers and ask the question, Were Orville and Wilbur Wright really the first to fly? There will be a book signing after each presentation.
From 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the memorial grounds, Kitty Hawk Kites will present their Things That Fly Boomerang Glider Event. Come and discover all the new throwing techniques that are making this sport boom with popularity. There will be an array of games, demonstrations, and lectures from the top throwers in the United States. Free kids kite making will be available.
At 4 p.m. in the Visitor Center Flight Room, visitors will discover that Kitty Hawk was only the beginning. A National Park Service Ranger will detail the progress of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their invention after the first flight.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Normal park fees apply for the event. Call (252) 441-7430 for more information.