Wright Brothers Day is December 17th. The holiday was established by Dwight Eisenhower in 1959. The day celebrates the first successful flight in a mechanically propelled aircraft in 1903 by Wilbur and Orville Wright. In Ohio, Wright Brothers Day is an official holiday that is celebrated on 5 October.
The flight took place at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The total flight time was 12 seconds with a distance traveled of 120 feet. The brothers flew 3 more times after that. The longest flight went a total of 852 feet.
The Wright Flyer is the aircraft that made history. The Flyer has a wingspan of 40 feet and 4 inches. The aircraft weighed in at 605 pounds. The frame of the aircraft was made from spruce wood and muslin cloth was used as a covering. The engine had had four cylinders that generated 12 horsepower. After the fourth and final flight, the aircraft was damaged and retired.
Each year, a memorial flight takes place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. This year marks the 113th celebration. The event begins at 8:30 am with music and a commemoration. A fly-over takes place at 10:35 am (the recorded time of the first flight). Sessions are offered at the accompanying museum. To celebrate the holiday, entrance to the park is free.
Many aviation museums offer discounted admission on Wright Brothers Day. Make sure you check the museum website or call to find out. Educational TV stations, such as the History Channel and PBS, will often schedule documentaries about the Wright Brothers on, and around, 5 October. On demand TV services like Netflix often offer documentaries about the Wrights and the evolution of flight during the time as well.Each month, we research the events and people that have shaped aviation. Explore aviation history HERE