100 Years of Passenger Flight to be Celebrated on May 14

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Date: May 9, 2008
Contact: National Park Service, (252) 441-7430

On Wednesday, May 14, with a program and aircraft fly-by, Wright Brothers National Memorial will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the world’s first of the passenger flight, yet another milestone achievement by the Wright brothers in May 14, 1908.


The program will begin at 10 a.m. at the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Auditorium with a welcome from National Park Service Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray.  Darrell Collins, Historian, Wright Brothers National Memorial will follow to introduce guest speaker, Paul Glenshaw, Director, Discovery of Flight Foundation.


Mr. Glenshaw, in his presentation The Wright Brothers Return to Kitty Hawk, May 1908, will recount Wilbur and Orville Wright’s final trip together to Kitty Hawk in images, first person accounts and film.  Following the presentation, at 11:30 a.m., there will be a fly-by formation of four F-22A Raptor Stealth Fighters out of Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.


At 1 p.m. in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Auditorium, Mr. Glenshaw will present, The Wright’s in Film, highlighting the Wright brothers early days documented in motion pictures - their triumphs in 1908-1909, the Wright exhibition team air shows, flights over New York and Orville’s last known flight as a pilot. 


The Wright brothers visited Kitty Hawk for the last time together in April 1908.  Wilbur arrived on April 9th and Orville, with the modified 1905 Flyer, arrived on April 25th.  They planned to do some practice flying before undertaking the official flight trials for the U.S. Government at Fort Meyer, VA and the fulfillment of a contract with a French business syndicate.  Both contracts called for a machine that would be able to take a passenger on a flight of 125 miles.  On May 14, 1908 at Kitty Hawk, Wilbur Wright succeeded in accomplishing the world’s first passenger flight when he took Charles Furnas, one of the Wright mechanics, for his . . . and the world’s . . . first airplane ride.

Wright Brothers National Memorial is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Park fees will be waived for the event.


About the F-22A Stealth Raptor:  The Raptor is the Air Force newest fighter aircraft, its combination of stealth advances in low-observable technologies, each of its two Pratt-Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles produces 35,000 pounds of thrust each more  than any current fighter engine.  The sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22A to cruise at supersonic airspeeds (greater than 2 Mach) without using afterburners- a characteristic known as supercruise.  The sophisticated F-22A aerodesign, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring and high thrust –to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft. The F-22A has better reliability and maintainability than any fighter aircraft in the history of aviation. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions projecting America’s airpower well into the 21st century.



Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Wright Brothers National Memorial
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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