When I was a little girl, I ran and played on the sand dunes located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, which is now called Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Of course, this place is located in the Outer Banks and I briefly visited it on my recent trip there. This time, however, Mom and Dad were not there, but I thought of them the moment I saw the Wright Brothers National Memorial rising high in the landscape.
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, found the Outer Banks to be the perfect location to test their flying machines because of the large open spaces with massive dunes, privacy and steady winds in the area called Kitty Hawk.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers achieved one of the most life changing events in history – their dream of flight with a machine that was in the control of the pilot and not the whim of the wind. Early that morning Wilbur and Orville took turns piloting and monitoring their flying machine. On the last flight of the day, Wilbur traveled 852 feet and remained airborne for whopping 59 seconds.
Years later, on October 24, 1911, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright set a new world record of nine minutes and forty-five seconds in their glider. His glider soaring record remained the world’s record for the next ten years.
Here’s an interesting fact you may not know…The first man to ever step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, carried a piece of the cloth and wood from the original 1903 Wright Flyer.
Next visit to the Outer Banks, not only will I climb the Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, but I will also take the “official” tour of the Wright Brothers National Memorial. I can’t wait to go back!
Wright Brothers National Memorial
1000 North Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 27948
Phone: (252) 473-2111