Celebrating a Day Full of Aviation History

At 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Ohio launched what looked to many like a giant box kite off a windswept sand dune in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Orville was at the controls. The short flight ushered a new era of aviation: powered, sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine with a pilot at the controls.  The first flight was brief—it lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. For perspective, that is about 40 feet short of the width of a high school football field. On the fourth flight that day, the Wright Flyer would be in the air for approximately 59 seconds and cover a distance of 852 feet, but duration and distance were not critical metrics that day. After years of experimentation, trial, and error, piloted sustained powered flight had been achieved. December 17, 2021, marks the 118th birthday of powered flight—but did you know there were other aviation events that have happened on December 17?  T. Higbee Embry (foreground) and John Paul Riddle Credit: Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University 1925 T. Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle (yes, that Embry and Riddle) signed a contract forming their company at Lunken Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.…

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Celebrating a Day Full of Aviation History

Updated: December 17, 2021 — 9:26 am