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National Aviation Day

National Aviation Day is a United States national observation that celebrates the development of aviation. The holiday was established in 1939 by Franklin D Roosevelt, who issued a a presidential proclamation which designated the anniversary of - then living - Orville Wright's birthday to be National Aviation Day. 

In a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, two inventors eagerly began testing their ideas about flight. Brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, had studied Octave Chanute's 1894 Progress in Flying Machines. The brothers set to work testing their designs, first with gliders. Eventually, they sought to add an engine. 

In 1896, Orville and Wilbur Wright took and interest in the "flying problem" after hearing of unmanned "Aerodromes" and test glider experiments. In 1899, Wilbur Wright devised an aerodynamic control system for aircraft and built a unique kite to test the concept in Dayton, Ohio. In 1900, the Wright brothers flew their first manned glider in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to test their control system. It did not produce enough lift to make more than a handful of flights. In 1901, they tested their second glider at Kitty Hawk, and it performed poorly. At that time, both of the brothers built a wind tunnel and conducted research on wing shapes in Dayton, Ohio. In 1902, they built a third glider based on their wind tunnel test. They refined their control system at Kitty Hawk, designing aerodynamic wings and adding pieces such as rudders to their design. On December 17, 1903, twelve seconds changed the world; the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first controlled flight of a power-driven, heavier-than-air flying machine. 

After the first flight, in 1904, the Wright brothers went back to Dayton, Ohio and refined their powered airplane making test flights at Huffman Prairie. In 1905, the Wright brothers developed the first practical airplane and demonstrated it to the public. The U.S. military is slightly interested at that time. In 1907, the Wright brothers procured contracts for the sale of airplanes from French investors and the U.S. Army, provided they can successfully demonstrate their airplane to meet the required standards. In 1909, demonstrations of the new airplane took place and the U.S. military bought its first military grade aircraft. The Wright brothers began to develop, manufacture, and teach about airplanes. The Wright 1909 Military Flyer was finally purchased by the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Myers, Virginia, and it had all the characteristics the government required. Those requirements included: the ability to carry two people, fly at a speed of 40 miles per hour, being in the air at least one hour at a time, and being conveyable by horse and wagon as well as having a 125-mile range. In 1910, the first civilian flight training school in Montgomery, Alabama is established. The Wright Model B is also fully developed for the military and public development. In 1914, the U.S. courts decided in favor of the Wrights in their lawsuit against Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company, a rival innovation firm. An increasing amount if airplane research and development led to more advanced models that further expanded the usage of the airplane. 

In 1948, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio was formed by combining three previously existing installations. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has been a leader in military aviation development from the time of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright to today's aerospace age. In today's age, Ohio continues to be a leader in both aviation and space innovations and milestones. 


All information was collected from local resources, such as the National Museum of the United States Air Force website. 

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Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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