Friday, April 26, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter W

We're in the home stretch of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed traipsing through history with me.

As an annual visitor to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the Wright Brothers. Orville and Wilbur Wright were the sons of a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Educated in Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana, neither attended college.

In 1889, the brothers launched a print shop. Though they continued with the printing shop, the brothers entered the bicycle trade in 1892 and were manufacturing bicycles by 1896. The Wrights became interested in flight after the death of German aeronautical experimenter Otto Lilienthal in a glider crash. 

Wilbur and Orville constructed seven aircraft between  1899 and 1905. Their failures led them to perform a series of experiments which would propel them toward success. On December 17, 1903, the brothers made the world's first powered, sustained, and controlled flights with a heavier-than-air flying machine in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Returning to Ohio, they continued their experiments. By 1905, they had transformed their 1903 flying machine into the first practical airplane. 

On November 22, 1909, the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and sell aircraft in the United States and licensed manufacturers to produce their machines in Europe. 

As you can see by the above picture, the sand dunes of North Carolina would be a perfect place for test flights. This shot is taken across from Jockey's Ridge State Park, which is a few miles away from the Wright Brothers Memorial that is administered by the National Park Service. The museum located near the memorial is filled with tons of interesting artifacts and photos. When I checked out their website, I learned that the Wright Monument is the largest monument in this country built to a living person. 

Hang gliding, kiteboarding, and parasailing are popular activities on the Outer Banks.


Patty Woodland said...

I remember seeing the gigantic sand dune - it was years ago. Is it still there or has Mother Nature had her way with it?

Cheryl said...

It's still there, but Hurricane Sandy didn't help it any.

Patty Woodland said...

I'm sure.