December 30, 2002

Reflections for 2002

AEROSPACE LEADERS SAY IT ALL

Letter From the Publisher

Imaging The Wrights

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Reflections for 2002

This is the 13th annual Aviation Week & Space Technology photo issue and the third year for our Aerospace Art Awards. This year, in anticipation of the centennial next year of the Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17, 1903, we have added a new feature.

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AEROSPACE LEADERS SAY IT ALL

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Letter From the Publisher

Imaging The Wrights

Dear Reader: As we approach the 100th anniversary of manned, powered, controlled, sustained, heavier-than-air flight next year, it is an honor for Aviation Week & Space Technology to present the following rare collection of photographs recalling the history and accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

A Celebration of the 100TH Anniversary of Manned, Controlled, Sustained, Powered, Heavier-Than-Air Flight

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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

A Systematic Study Of The Subject*

In the closing days of 1902, a young man from a small, midwestern U.S. city put pen to paper to inform a friend about his and his brother’s plans for the upcoming year. “We are thinking about a machine next year with 500 sq. ft. surface, about 40 ft. X 6 ft. 6 inches {sic}.

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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

First Flight

After four years of constant effort, repeated failure and some astounding discoveries, Wilbur and Orville Wright came to Kitty Hawk on Sept. 25, 1903, feeling confident of their ultimate success. But flight would have to take a backseat for a few weeks, for a number of more mundane tasks required their immediate attention.
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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

Developing The First Practical Airplane

Once at home in Dayton, the Wrights drew up plans for a new Flyer. Based on the lines of the 1903 machine, their planned 1904 aircraft would incorporate some modest alterations and would sport a more powerful engine. And while they had indeed flown at Kill Devil Hills, the brothers realized that in truth they had just made a few fledgling hops.

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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

Selling The Military Flyer

Despite their accomplishment and successes, only a handful of people from the Outer Banks and Dayton had actually seen the Wrights fly, mainly because the brothers kept their work shrouded in secrecy. They believed they had unlocked the mysteries of controlled flight and that all others were beholden to them and their impending patents for the key.

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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

European Adventures

When Wilbur Wright arrived in France in late May 1908, he was met with suspicion, sarcasm and outright hostility. For years the enigmatic Wrights had made spectacular claims about their aeronautical feats, but they had failed to back them up with substantial, credible eyewitness accounts.
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THE WRIGHT BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

Return and Recognition

As a result of their triumphal European demonstration, as well as Orville’s spectacular flying at Ft. Myer, the United States belatedly recognized the accomplishments of the brothers. While the Wrights were in Europe, plans were made by the U.S. federal government, the State of Ohio and the City of Dayton to honor the brothers, on their return. Approaching Dayton on the morning of May 13,1909, the Wrights hoped for a quiet reunion with their family.
December 232002 January 62003