Wilbur Wright wearing his leather jacket as he prepares to fly in Pau, France.
If you're going to fly an airplane, you've got to have the right look. An aviator's kit is not complete without the real deal flight jacket - plus the big watch, sunglasses, checklist charts and navigational equipment. Aviation commentator Dan Patterson explains.
Flying the very early airplanes was a breezy affair. The Wright brothers' aeroplanes offered no protection from the wind. Their flying machines were wide open, and they sat on the edge of the lower wing, facing the wind.
Archival image of early airshow act, A Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny".
Credit courtesy of Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, USA
Earlier this summer, a pilot named Charlie Schwenker and a wing-walker named Jane Wicker were killed at the Vectren Air Show in Dayton, a tragedy in the midst of an event laden with history. Air Shows as public events began more than 100 years ago. WYSO's aviation commentator Dan Patterson loves that colorful history full of spectacle and heroism.
Tomorrow is the 6th of June. Sixty-nine years ago, the allied forces at war with Hitler’s Germany invaded northern France in what will always be known as D-Day. On that morning in 1944, when Ohioans woke up, the battle in Europe had already been going on for hours. The airborne troops were the first ones to enter the conflict. One local paratroop veteran of that battled died recently, but told his story to our aviation commentator Dan Patterson.
Flying into the sunset in the B-17 that portrayed the Memphis Belle in the 1990 film.
Credit Dan Patterson
Seventy years ago this week American aviators were at war in Europe. In airplanes known as the B-17 Flying Fortress they were flying bombing missions over Germany. One of those planes, nicknamed “The Memphis Belle” flew its 25th combat mission on May 17th, 1943, and then came home to the US with its crew. One of the Memphis Belle’s first stops was Wright Field in Dayton, where today she’s being restored at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The Wright Brothers' first instrument panel, the wind gauge (anemometer, stopwatch, engine revolutions meter)
Credit Dan Patterson
Aviation commentator Dan Patterson has a different kind of story this week, not about a famous date in history - but instead about the connection between flight and time. You can always spot a pilot, he says, by his or her outsized wristwatch. It's a relationship that goes back to the earliest flights.