News Release

Celebrate Aviation Day at Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

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Date: August 3, 2018

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Celebrate Aviation Day by learning about pioneering aviator Octave Chanute and then climb into a hang glider simulator and “take flight” at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Visitor Center on Sunday, August 19, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
The Dream of flight brought Octave Chanute and his team to the Indiana Dunes in 1896 and 1897. His biplane glider design became the starting point for further development, including the work of the Wright brothers. Using this original design, the brothers introduced improvements and after three years of experimentation, they made the first powered flight in their Wright Flyer.
What they achieved changed our world forever. National Aviation Day started in 1939 by presidential proclamation to commemorate the growth and advancement made in aviation since the humble beginnings right here in Northwest Indiana.
At 12:00 pm, look at an actual hang glider that is 32 feet wide and 10 feet long. Hang Glide Chicago will have instructors and pilots available to discuss hang gliding, show you how hang gliders function, and explain basic flight. Then you have the opportunity to jump in a simulator to experience weight-shift control for yourself. At 2:00 pm, join Octave Chanute expert Simine Short as she takes you on a journey showing photos taken over 120 years ago of the glider flying experiments in the dunes along Lake Michigan, an area that is now the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Also, learn of the communication and interaction between the Wright Brothers and Chanute, and how Chanute helped pave the way for the Wright Brothers first powered flight in 1903.
The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is located at 1215 North State Road 49, about one mile north of Interstate 94. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, call 219-395-1882 or visit our website at and our Facebook page at
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 417 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 2 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year. Check our Facebook page at

Last updated: August 2, 2018

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1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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