Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

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Commentary
6:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Orville Wright's Demonstration Flight

The Flyer on the launch rail, the catapult behind the aeroplane.

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.

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Commentary
6:30 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Remembering Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong posing in front of a restored Aeronca Champ in 2003.
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."

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Commentary
6:35 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Wilbur Wright's First Public Demonstration Flight

French painting done in 1908. The artist was in a balloon to see Wilbur from above.
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.

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Commentary
6:30 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Bleriot's Flight Across the English Channel

A photo of the actual flight, Louis Bleriot crossing the English Channel.
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.

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Commentary
11:54 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Wilbur Wright, A Life of Consequence

Wilbur Wright
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.

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