Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

Pages

Commentary
9:46 am
Mon December 17, 2012

First Flight and the Photograph

A contact print from the entire 5x7 inch plate also showing the broken corner which was incurred during the 1913 Dayton Flood.
courtesy of Wright State University Archives and Special Collections

Today is perhaps the most important date in aviation history.  It was 10:35 in the morning on December 17, 1903, when Orville Wright flew a powered aircraft  on the sands near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  It was a short  flight - with huge consequences. Dayton aviation historian and photographer Dan Patterson knows the story well.

Read more
Commentary
6:35 am
Thu November 22, 2012

The Creation of the Wright Company

A Wright Model B taking shape in the Assembly Room of the Wright Company.
courtesy of wright-brothers.org

On this day in 1909, a company was incorporated that would eventually build the first airplane factory in Dayton Ohio. It was called the Wright Company. Local aviation photographer and historian Dan Patterson tells us the story.

Last time we spoke, I described the momentous flight Wilbur Wright made in new York City in 1909 when a million New Yorkers saw an aeroplane for the first time.

Read more
Commentary
7:06 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Wilbur Wright Flies in New York

1909 Hudson-Fulton-Wright Flyer with canoe attached. Wilbur and Charlie Taylor inspect the Flyer.
The National Air & Space Museum

Last year, Governor Kasich proclaimed October fifth Wright Brothers Day in Ohio. On that day, in 1905, Wilbur Wright flew the Wright Flyer for nearly 40 minutes at Huffman Prairie. It was proof that flight was practical.

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more

Pages