Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

In the summer of 1908, Wilbur Wright astonished the world, demonstrating the Wright Flyer in France.  No one had ever flown as long and with such control.  The world took notice.

Back here in the states, that same summer, Orville Wright was making demonstration flights, too, for the US Army's Signal Corps, trying to get a contract to sell planes to the US government.  Dayton aviation historian and photographer Dan Patterson tells the story.

Dan Patterson

Today, a private funeral service will be held in Cincinnati for Neil Armstrong. Local aviation photographer Dan Patterson has this remembrance of the first man to walk on the moon.

Neil had a knack for understatement.  At a meeting in 2003 about the Centennial of the Wright's first flight, the other participants introduced themselves with all their titles and bona fides.  When it was his turn, he leaned into the microphone and said, "I'm Neil Armstrong, and I'm just an aviator."

courtesy Dan Patterson

This year is the 100th anniversary of the death of Wilbur Wright, whose life and accomplishments are so much a part of the story of Dayton.  Local aviation photographer Dan Patterson has traveled all over the world, making pictures of the places where aviation history was made, especially the places where the Wright brothers made their mark.  On this day in 1908, not quite five years after the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, Wilbur Wright made the very first public demonstration flight in history in France.

From the Special Collections and Archives at the Wright State University Libraries

On this day in 1909, a man named Louis Bleriot, a French engineer, was the first to fly across the English Channel, 21 miles from Calais in France to Dover, England.  Dayton photographer Dan Patterson is an aviation historian, and he's traveled the world to photograph significant aviation history sites.  A few years ago he went to see the places where Bleriot took off and landed.

courtesy of Dan Patterson

One hundred years ago, at the end of May 1912, Wilbur Wright passed away. A local group of aviators and historians thought that instead of recalling his death, it would be a good idea to celebrate his life. To take a look at this enigmatic man and go beyond the stern image of Wilbur Wright’s portrays its made a century ago.