Research Assignment: First Flight

by Valerie Barker


We also visited Kittyhawk, NC, site of the Wright Brothers first powered flight in 1903.

It was the first time in North Carolina for all of us, so we had to take a picture of the sign as we drove by.

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At Kittyhawk, this boulder marks the starting point for all four of the flights the Wright Brothers made on December 17, 1903. When this boulder was installed, Orville Wright and Amelia Earhart were in attendance at the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the first flight. Dad is standing where Orville stood and Kat is standing where Amelia Earhart stood. (There was a picture of the dedication on a sign but we couldn't find a version online to show you.)

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There are smaller markers showing the landing spot for each of the flights. The first flight, by Orville, was also the shortest and the last flight, by Wilbur, was the longest.

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Here we are by the final marker.

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Next to where the flights all began, the Wright Brothers had a hangar and a workshop. We really appreciated the hangar because it was nice and cool inside.

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After we took a break inside the hangar, we set off for the big monument on the hill overlooking where the flights took place. This monument is the largest monument built for a living person, as Orville Wright was still alive when the monument was dedicated.

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It was kind of entertaining because we were in a very historic location, but there were still tons of people who just wanted to see us!

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The monument is very big when you are up close.

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And also provides some shade for two very hot dogs.

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There are also statues of each Wright Brother, so Mom took this picture of the Wilbur statue for our Wilbur. We will have to take Wilbur with us next time we visit since his name is Wilbur Kittyhawk!

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Our last stop at Kittyhawk was this lifesize sculpture, added in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. In addition to the Wright Flyer, the sculpture includes sculptures of some of the people who were at the first flight. Orville is on the plane and that is Wilbur standing off to the side because he held the wing before the plane took off.

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There were also other people around who helped the Wright Brothers when they were in North Carolina.

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As with other airplanes, even the Wright Flyer makes for good shade.

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One thing about Kittyhawk is there are prickly pears growing all over. So we had to stay on the sidewalk because Dad did not want us to get prickles in our paws. That was kind of annoying, especially to Kat because she likes to off-road. The best part of the trip to Kittyhawk was when we got back to the car and Mom gave us a lot of water.

Steve