Presidents and flight had a quiet start in the summer of 1909, when Orville returned to Ft. Myer to complete the Army trials that ended abruptly with his crash in September of the previous year. The Army allowed the Wrights to return as they had already more than fulfilled the contract. This time there were many observers, including fellow Ohioan President Williams Howard Taft. A tent was set up, and he sat with the Wrights' sister Katharine.
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.
The anniversary of powered flight is going to be commemorated in the Wright brothers' hometown.
The Dayton Daily News reports that the 109th anniversary of flight will be recognized in a wreath-laying ceremony Monday morning on Wright Memorial Hill in Dayton.
Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Piel, a C-5 and C-17 cargo jet pilot, will speak at the event. Amanda Lane Wright, a great grandniece of the Wright brothers, and Col. Cassie Barlow, Wright-Patterson 88th Air Base Wing commander, will participate in the wreath laying.
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.