Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
East Hampton, Connecticut
February 18, 2007
From journal OBX or Bust!
Riverview, New Brunswick
October 11, 2006
Orville and Wilbur Wright were the sons of a religious leader. Their mother, college educated, ensured that their scientific and inquisitive edges were sharply honed. Fascinated by the idea of flight through toys and early European non-powered experiments, they decided to explore the possibilities.
Inside the visitor center, you will read the timeline of their work and see a replica of their 1902 glider. The original was flown a thousand times from the top of the sand dune where the monument stands today. Their longest flight was 622.5 feet in 26 seconds; it was through these experiments that they learned the basics of flight… how to ascend, descend, and turn. Why this dune in this place? They had set out to find a site that was wide open with an average wind speed of 15 to 20 mph; Kitty Hawk had the "steady breezes and sandy (treeless) slopes" for which they were looking. Their initial enquiries led them to think that the people of the Outer Banks would be more than welcoming… they would be helpful.
It’s a wonderful story, because success didn’t come easily. In successive trips to the area beginning in 1900, progress was slow; after all, they had to invent everything from the shape of the wing to the rudder. The story is told using the full scale replica of the original powered aircraft as a prop; the talk was the highlight of the visit. (A second talk takes visitors out to the actual site to discuss the events of December 17, 1903.)
What a day it must have been… the brothers’ camp of that year has been reconstructed where it originally stood and granite markers show the take-off and landing spots of each of the four flights made on the first day of powered flight. While the first flights were successful, only the fourth met the criteria of the Smithsonian Institute of what would entail a successful demonstration.
Overlooking the field sits the Wright Brothers Memorial. It is atop what was once a moving sand dune that would take three years to stabilize; the memorial would be finished in 1932. It wasn’t really necessary to add anything further to the site but recent additions are The First Flight Pavilion and the first flight sculpture. In the pavilion, you will find a replica of the 1900 camp and historical photographs which really put everything into context. Behind the monument, on a loop road, you will find a life-size sculpture of the event… an airplane and the seven men who were there that morning… it is a marvelous depiction.
We recommend the site highly, a good story well done.
From journal Wasting Away on the Outer Banks
Durham, North Carolina
August 3, 2006
The entire event is free, but parking at the national park (the museum/memorial) is $6. What is great though, is that if the weather turns bad while you're at the park or if you feel bad and leave, you come back again without having to pay if you come within 2 weeks of paying for the parking (just present your parking ticket).
There were a lot of kites at the festival, and there were also several activities, such as kite and air balloon making, mostly catered towards younger children. However, I enjoyed just seeing all the kites they had and watching all the local and visitors fly them.
It was a fun and relaxing way to see something that most people don't see everyday.
From journal A Soothing Vacation at the Beach
April 22, 2006
From journal Outer Banks
January 22, 2006
From journal Off-Season/Spring on the Outer Banks
stoneville, North Carolina
January 1, 2006
From journal Camp Hatteras
May 25, 2005
This site is operated by the National Park Service, so if you have a Park Service Pass, you may use it at this location. Individual entrance fees are good for 1 week from the date of purchase, so you can go back several times if you don't get the chance to see it all in 1 day.
A park ranger conducts a very educational and entertaining presentation several times a day. There are also kid-specific activities (see their website for details). The life-size bronze sculpture of the "first flight," the granite memorial atop a huge dune, and the markers commemorating the first flight are all easily accessible.
From journal The Outer Banks in May
by MCJ graduate
German Valley, Illinois
May 2, 2005
From journal Outer Banks, NC, equals fun, fun, fun!
January 22, 2005
At the museum you will get an introduction to Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Ohio who changed history by being the first to successfully achieve flight with an airplane. The museum gave detailed history of the first flights that day on December 17, 1903. I got a good understanding of the process these men used to design and fly the airplanes. In addition, there was a replica of the actual planes they used, including a 1902 glider and 1903 flying machine.
On display was an exhibit featuring Women in Flight. I found it fascinating as I viewed pictures, biographies, and quotes of women who worked in flight, from astronauts, crop dusters, aerial show flyers, skywriters, hot air balloon pilots, helicopter pilots, a captain with UPS, to so much more. I just loved this exhibit and felt very proud of these women.
Next door was a reconstructed 1903 camp building and hangar. Because the museum was celebrating the 100th anniversary of flight, there were extra exhibits that included the Navy and NASA. You were able to see how the brothers lived during that time.
Here you can ask the park rangers questions, which I did. They are very knowledgeable and excited to share information with you. I spoke with some very nice rangers who told me that Wilbur died in 1912 at 45 from typhoid fever from some oysters at a Boston restaurant. Orville died in 1948 at 76 while repairing his doorbell, having previously suffered multiple heart attacks. I was fascinated with these tidbits of information, as if I was getting a firsthand account. Because of the risks involved in flying, neither got married because they knew they would need to put their family first. They had two brothers with children and their sister married at 52 but sadly died at 55.
Most of their skills were acquired from their mother. She taught them to sew, which they used when putting together the wings! And when they built their own sleds, she told them to lie flat because of wind resistance. Hence, they were flat when they were flying!
The memorial requires a bit of walking, so I didn’t see the monument or walk the paths. Wheelchairs are limited and you’d probably have to be pushed. But I still felt I got a solid grasp of what went on 100 years ago seeing just the museum and camp and thought what I saw was just phenomenal.
From journal Paradise and Lighthouses in the Outer Banks
January 2, 2005
From journal Winter Week in the Outer Banks