Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk NC

The Wright Brothers National Memorial, at Kitty Hawk NC, is the site of the first powered airplane flight in 1903. For a fan of aviation history, this is holy ground. Here are some photos from a visit.

P1280073
Kill Devil Hill. In 1901 and 1902, the Wright brothers launched a series of unpowered gliders from this hill, to test out various methods of flight control.

P1280086
The view from the top of Kill Devil Hill. They chose this spot for their experiments because it has steady winds, the sand allows for soft landings, and its isolation let them work in secret.

P1280077
The monument at the top of the hill

27783266192_ccaf8b6e0c_o
Me, in front of the monument.

P1280091
The cabin in which the Wright brothers lived during their flight experiments, and the hangar used to protect the 1903 Flyer from the weather.

P1280158
Because the Flyer could not take off from sand, the brothers laid a wooden rail topped with metal.

P1280157
Plaque marking the takeoff spot for the first powered flight.

P1280155
Stone marker at the takeoff spot.

P1280096
Stone marker at the endpoint of the first flight.

P1280097
The distance covered by the first flight

P1280092
The brothers made four flights on December 17, 1903. The first three, marked by white stones, clustered around 150 feet. The fourth and last flight, visible in the distance, covered over 800 feet.

P1280137
As the brothers discussed whether to try a fifth flight, a gust of wind flipped the Flyer over and smashed it. This a broken piece from the engine crankcase.

P1280129
A replica of the 1902 Glider, on display in the Visitors Center

P1280125
A replica of the 1903 Flyer, on display in the Visitors Center.

P1280180
Guided tour with park ranger
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk NC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s