Kitty Hawk

QB5Y8772.jpgThere is not a shortage of aviation themed stuff on this blog. I realized that one thing I had never covered was the First Flight. Obviously I didn’t cover it live given my obvious youth! However, on a vacation to the Outer Banks a few years ago, my buddies Steve and Rich joined me on a trip to Kitty Hawk to see where the Wright Brothers had made the first powered flight. For some reason, none of the three wives wanted to make this trip and they did something else. No idea why…

QB5Y8758.jpgThe layout of the place is pretty simple. There is a monument to the event up on a hill overlooking the site. It is a pretty impressive structure and very much more substantial than anything else there. You have the workshop they operated out of (which I now can’t remember whether it is original or a recreation) and the markers on the ground to show the location of the first four flights they undertook on that day. There is also a museum off to one side and an airstrip located a short distance away. It is a big, wide open area so, even if there are lots of visitors, it is not crowded.

QB5Y8777.jpgThere was a steady breeze while we were there so you could see why it appealed to someone trying to get airborne. Since the whole thing is on a sand dune and the mapping of things has probably improved a bit in the last hundred years, I suspect there is some uncertainty about where exactly everything was. However, that hardly matters. This was the place where the first powered flights took place and the step to regular manned flight was made. Interestingly, once they had achieved this goal, they headed back to Dayton and their further development took place there. Kitty Hawk will always be the first though. If you look at Ohio and North Carolina license plates, you will gather that they still argue over this. Not a fight I need to join though.

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