History & Culture

Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates two ingenious brothers from Dayton, Ohio who chose in 1900 the sparsely populated area known as the Outer Banks to conduct a series of experiments that three years later resulted in the world’s first heavier than air, powered controlled flight.

The story of these brothers embodies the American ideal of hard work overcoming all obstacles. Wilbur and Orville Wright were not just lucky bicycle mechanics. They succeeded because of study and scientific experimentation. Their story is the realization of a dream that had existed for centuries.

Their story is not simply about building the first plane, but rather about how they scientifically solved the problems of powered flight. It is a story about those who inspired—and those who aided—the brothers, as well as the coastal area of North Carolina before, during, and after the dream came to life.

  • Kitty Hawk Lifesaving Station and members, 1902


    The People Who Solved the Problems of Flight at Kitty Hawk

  • Wright brothers' camp, 1900


    Kitty Hawk Proved the Ideal Location for the Brothers' Experiments

  • The glider on Big Kill Devil Hill, 1902


    The Stories of The Wright Brothers' Flying Experiments at Kitty Hawk

Last updated: August 26, 2016

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Mailing Address:

Wright Brothers National Memorial
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo , NC 27954


252 473-2111

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