On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur flew a powered aircraft after years of work. Wright Brothers Day commemorates that event each year on December 17. This was the first flight of a heavier-than-air craft. It happened in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Each year on this date, a proclamation is read encouraging participants to remember the Wrights. It invites people to celebrate with appropriate activities and gatherings.
Fun Facts About the Wright Brothers
Orville and Wilbur Wright’s father was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren of Christ.
As an homage to the Wright Brothers, Astronaut Neil Armstrong carried a piece of the Wright Flyer fabric to the moon. In addition, he carried the propeller from the plane.
While Orville and Wilbur became wealthy businessmen after their flight, neither one of them ever married.
During their lifetime, the brothers only flew together once, on May 25, 1910. Orville was at the controls with Wilbur as a passenger.
Orville also took his 82-year-old father Milton on a ride that same day. Milton was Orville’s passenger for a seven-minute flight.
A coin toss decided who would fly the Wright Flyer first. The toss was won by Wilbur, but his first attempt failed. Orville was luckier; he got airborne for twelve seconds.
Wilbur had intended to go to college at Yale, but a serious ice hockey accident prevented him.
The Wright Flyer was built at the cost of approximately $1,000. The project was financed solely by the Wrights. The design of the Wright Flyer became the basis for future planes.
Besides the Wright Flyer, the brothers also designed their own bicycle. The bike had coaster brakes and an oil-retaining hub, features found on modern bikes.
Their mother was a consultant on the Wright Flyer project. Her father was a carriage maker, and she was sought out for advice often during the building process.
They established the first test flight facility in the world in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton is home to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci
What joy can compare with that of a bird that has just learned she can fly.
Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.
Henry David Thoreau
The reason birds can fly, and we can’t, is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings. J.M. Barrie
The secret of flight is this – you have to do it immediately before your body realizes it is defying the laws.
Flying starts from the ground. The more grounded you are, the higher you can fly.
If your thoughts are as tall as your ceiling, you can’t fly above your room.
He loved more than anything to fly. His sole conflict was with gravity.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Believe in people; they fly for a day. Teach them to believe in themselves; they soar for a lifetime.
Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
Jokes About Flying
I waved down a flight attendant and asked if I could change my seat. The flight attendant asked, why? I said because this baby next to me won’t stop crying. The flight attendant said that’s your baby.
A giraffe swallowed a toy airplane; it was a plane in the neck.
What if a Moose flew the first heavier-than-air-powered airplane? That just would not be Wright.
A disgruntled lawyer tried to sue the airline for losing his luggage. Unfortunately, he lost the case.
A man asked a pilot if he enjoyed his job while sitting at a bar. The pilot looked at the man and said, it has its ups and downs.
A little boy looked at a plane with the tail in the front. He said that is just plane wrong.
Everyone knows the Wright Brothers invented the paper airplane.
The passenger got nervous when he noticed the pilot read the book Flying for Dummies.
If the place you land and take-off is called, The Terminal, why is flying so safe?
Instagram Captions for Airplanes
Make sure you fasten your seat belts. It is going to be a bumpy flight.
Fly me to the moon.
Are we off the ground yet?
The joy is in the journey.
If you never go, you’ll never know.
Come fly with me, we’ll fly away.
I think I missed my flight.
Keep Calm and Continue Flying.
Excuse me, is this seat taken.
I’m leaving on a jet plane.
As we start our descent, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position.
I picked a bad day to give up flying.
Catching flights, not feelings.
Up, up, and away!
The sky’s the limit.
Boarding Pass: Check.
With flying colors.
Wright or Wrong, flying is still fun.
Prepare for takeoff.
Off to a flying start.
Local time is 7:20 and the temperature is 85 degrees.
Cabin crew: please take your seats for take-off.
That flight flew by.
Got my head in the clouds.
All my bags are packed…
Have you ever dreamed of flying?
The captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign.
All you need is good shoes and luggage.
Now sit back, and enjoy the rest of your flight.
Here are frequently asked questions about Wright Brothers Day.
How do I Celebrate Wright Brothers Day?
If you have the resources, go for a plane ride, or fly a plane yourself. You could schedule your Christmas vacation with a flight starting on December 17. You can also watch the skies around you for planes. Take out a pair of binoculars and start scanning.
Head to an aircraft museum. There is usually at least one in major metropolitan areas. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park has many displays of early aviation. The Park features the Wright Brothers but also honors other aviation pioneers.
The Wright Flyer is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
You can fly a radio-controlled plane or a drone. While you may not be a pilot, you can fly a toy. The cost of drones and R.C. planes has dropped dramatically, and they are very affordable.
Throw a Wright Brothers Movie watching party. There are several movies to choose from, The Way Back, The Winds of Kitty Hawk, American Experience: The Wright Stuff, Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers, Wright Brothers, Wrong Story, Flyboys, Wright Brothers Flying Machine, and The Dayton Flight Factory.
If you document your Wright Brothers Day and decide you will post on social media. Make sure you use the hashtag #WrightBrothersDay.
What is the History of the Wright Brothers?
Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871, his older brother Wilbur was born on April 16, 1867. Both the Wright brothers were born in Dayton, Ohio. They were two of the seven children born to Milton and Susan Katherine Wright.
The family moved often but permanently moved to Dayton in 1884. Their father brought home a toy helicopter that fascinated the boys and hooked them on flight.
They were enthralled by everything related to flying and began research into the theories of flight. The two boys did not graduate from High School, but that did not stop them from starting a business. They started their own printing business with a printing press they built.
They left the printing business and started a bicycle sales and repair shop. The two always had their eyes on the sky. As they developed more manufacturing and fabricating skills, they dreamed about building and flying a powered plane.
The Wrights experimented by flying gliders and researching different methods to control airplanes. They theorized that a lightweight engine mounted to a sturdy frame with simple controls would work. Their controls were based on observing birds in flight.
A mechanic named Charles Taylor is credited with building the lightweight but powerful engine for the Wright Flyer. The Wrights flew kites to check designs and finally settled on one. Taylor’s engine was fitted, and on December 17, 1903, the Wright Flyer went airborne.
History of the Wright Brothers For Kids Video
Famous Celebrity Pilots
Harrison Ford – Ford didn’t start flying until he was 52. He must have nine lives because he has survived a couple of crashes. He has crashed a helicopter and a biplane and walked away from both.
Gisele Bundchen – Tom Brady’s supermodel wife is a pilot. Bundchen started flying in 2009. She felt she had a calling and just had to learn to fly.
Phil Mickelson – The famous golfer travels to many of his gold tournaments as his own Gulfstream V pilot.
Jimmy Buffet – The Margaritaville singer was 29 years old when he received his pilot’s license. He has both single-engine and multi-engine ratings.
Kurt Russell – Actor Kurt Russell is also an aviator. He is quoted as saying, “The love of airplanes for pilots, I think, is almost inexplicable. It’s the experience itself.”
Hilary Swank – The Oscar-winning actress played Amelia Earhart on the silver screen. She was bitten by the flying bug while making the movie. She helped a friend overcome her fear of flying by comforting her while piloting the plane.
More Notable Pilots
John Travolta – Travolta is probably the best-known celebrity pilot. His house has its own landing strip. He has multi-engine ratings and owns a Boeing 707, among others.
Clint Eastwood – Eastwood is an experienced pilot who greatly enjoys his time in the air. Eastwood says, “You’re just a number in the sky. Everybody pretty well leaves you alone.”
Carol Vorderman – A British television host and presenter. Vorderman is also an actress that has appeared in several television shows. She received her pilot’s license in 2013 and flew a plane nicknamed Mildred.
Tim McGraw – A famous country singer, McGaw has Faith’s name written on his aircraft’s window. It could be a mantra or just his wife’s first name, Faith Hill.
By Tim Moodie
Tim Moodie’s father was an accomplished pilot trained by the Navy. His father wanted Tim to become a pilot too. Tim began taking lessons. In the third lesson, the flight instructor brought the plane into a spin. Tim had to pull the aircraft out of the spin, which he did, but he never got behind the wheel (yoke) again.
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