Aviation

Dan Patterson Collection

2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War One.  Millions of soldiers and untold numbers of civilians died on European battlefields during that conflict which was called "the war to end all wars," which, of course, it was not.

We tend to remember the trench warfare of World War One, but it was the first conflict in the history of the world that included an air war as well. Dan Patterson has some thoughts.

Dan Patterson

Seventy years ago, World War 2 was in full cry. American was in combat across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Europe, during 1943, the US Army Air Force was engaged against Hitler's Germany. The fall was a crucial time for battle, and October was a cruel month.

Defeating an enemy only with air power was experimental back then.  The American plan was this: equip large bomber with heavy machine guns, fly them in a tight formation with hundreds of identical planes and no long range fighters as escorts.  Could it work?

courtesy of wright-brothers.org

Republican congressman Mike Turner is advocating for national parks funding to purchase the Wright Brother’s original manufacturing facilities in Ohio, as debate intensifies over rights to the first-in-flight title.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner will be in Dayton today alongside Amanda Wright Lane of the Wright Family Foundation to discuss efforts to purchase the Wright Company Factory buildings and include them in Dayton's aviation history park.

The buildings are the first U.S. facilities specifically designed and built to manufacture airplanes.

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.

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