Kitty Hawk Journal
First Flight Centennial - December 2003

Some pictures from our Knauth family trip to Kitty Hawk, NC.

flight four
Front: William (4), Alexander (6); Back: Geoffrey, Robin
We walked the distance from the Wright Brothers' cabin and hangar and starting stone down the path of their first four test flights several times.

Chuck Yeager at First Flight Centennial
We saw Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager and lots of other pretty impressive people.  Tuesday the 16th was a gorgeous day.

mini Wright Flyers for kids
The kids loved these little Wright cycles.  We met the guy from Oshkosh who made not only these, but the other airplane cycles kids enjoy at EAA Oshkosh each summer.

Alexander flies the simulator
Alexander flies one of four Wright Flyer simulators in the EAA tent, courtesy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.

William flies the simulator
William gets his turn.

Wright Flyer replica
This is the replica that will fly tomorrow!

elegant formation flying
The airshows were terrific.

Wright monument atop Kill Devil Hill
Atop Kill Devil Hill, before the monument to Wilbur and Orville.

 re-enactment of the first flight
Wednesday the 17th is rainy, with squalls.  During a break in the rain, to please the crowd, the makers of the replica decide to bring out the flyer and give it a go.  Wind ahead of the cold front is from the south, and blocked somewhat by the hill.  The flyer is headed into a 10 knot wind.  One hundred years ago, the Wright Brothers started from a spot half a mile to the north and headed northeast into a steady ~25 knot ocean breeze with no obstructions blocking the wind.

Earlier in the morning, after the President had given his speech in the rain and left on Marine One, we were told to stay put, "something exciting" would take place in three minutes.  Then, Air Force One dropped out of the clouds and made a low pass over the First Flight airport runway (just on the other side of those trees).  It was very cool to see that majestic ship pass by, and I hope the Wright Brothers could see it from on high.

 the first flight was here
Looking south, you can see the hill that blocked the wind on the day of the anniversary.  Before the hill is the large 800' diameter circle created for the anniversary.  The actual launch 100 years ago was from about 50 yards behind the camera, headed northeast (8 o'clock).

Blackbird at Air & Space Museum
We stopped at the new Air & Space Museum annex near Dulles on the way to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  The kids thought the Blackbird SR-71 was really cool.

Shuttle Enterprise at Air & Space Museum
A real Space Shuttle!

Concorde at Air & Space Museum

Copyright © Geoffrey S. Knauth