Aviation

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.

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.

Hawthorn Hill
courtesy of Dayton History

On Thursday, the Dayton Foundation and the Wright Family Foundation announced that ownership of Hawthorn Hill is transferring to Dayton History.

Hawthorn Hill was designed by the Wright Brothers, but Wilbur Wright died before construction began. After Orville Wright's death in 1948, the site was purchased by the NCR Corporation who later donated it to the Wright Family Foundation.

Dan Patterson

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.

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.

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.

Dan Patterson

A newly discovered photograph calling into question the Wright Brothers claim to the “first in flight” title has created controversy this week between aviation experts. Some historians say German Immigrant Gustave Whitehead deserves the distinction. Dayton aviation photographer and historian Dan Patterson is WYSO’s aviation commentator. He discussed the issue in an interview with Emily McCord.

Jerry Kenney

A newly discovered photograph calling into question the Wright Brothers claim to the “first in flight” title continues to draw reaction from aviation experts. Some historians say German Immigrant Gustave Whitehead deserves the distinction.  The photograph in question is actually a photograph within a photograph. Amateur historian John Brown found it in an attic in Germany.

A newly discovered photograph has sparked controversy over whether or not the Wright Brothers were really the first in flight. Some historians are saying that German Immigrant named Gustave Whitehead deserves that distinction but as Emily McCord reports for WYSO, despite the new discovery, the debate has been going on for years.

Thomas Griffin died in late February - he was one of 80 American servicemen who flew a legendary mission in World War Two.    They were known as Doolittle's Raiders.    Griffin lived in Cincinnati and he
was 96 years old.  Now only four members of that elite group survive.

WYSO aviation commentator Dan Patterson knew Griffin and tells us his story.

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