Centennial of Flight

December 17, 2003 marks the 100 year anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers! A ceremony celebrating the first centennial of flight will be held at Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Pilot Actor John Travolta will act as Master of Ceremonies, with attendees to include famous aviators such as Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin. The decendants of Charles Lindbergh and the Wright Brothers themselves will also be there. US President George W. Bush, also a pilot, will be attending and participating in the celebration. The highlight of the event will be the attempted flight of a replica of the Wright Flyer by 42-year old flight instructor Kevin Kochersberger. He intends to fly regardless of the weather, but does not plan to fly further than the 120 feet that Orville Wright did on his first flight.

We wish him good luck and good weather!

- Michael Taylor -

It was not meant to be. The replica of the Wright Flyer did not succeed in re-enacting the famous first flight, but the celebration was a success in every other sense, and included a low-level fly-by of Air Force One, an aircraft with a wingspan that exceeds the length of the first flight by Orville Wright.

We leave it to the Wright Brothers to have made the first powered, controlled flight, 100 years ago. As amateurs who had never even seen an aircraft fly before, they did what a certified, instructor pilot of the 21st century couldn't do. Their aircraft was built without 21st-century technology, on a minimal budget, and designed purely by theory and imagination. They remain unchallenged as the greatest aviators in history.

- Michael Taylor -