Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio

According to existingcountries, the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is located in the town of Dayton in the US state of Ohio. It is a memorial to three important men who were involved in the work of the Miami Valley – Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Part of this historic park are four independent sites managed by the National Park Service. It is a complex that served the Wright Cycle Company and includes numerous buildings, a museum and a visitor center. Next is the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, where the first flights took place. It also includes the Wright Brothers Aviation Center and Carillon Park. The last site under this historic park is the Paul Laurence Dunbar Memorial.

Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright were the creators of the first heavier-than-air aircraft called the Kitty Hawk. Although neither of the brothers had the necessary education, they managed to create everything thanks to their skill and imagination. They were into cycling and at the same time admired sailing, so they decided to try to build a bicycle with wings and a petrol engine to power it.

Both brothers lived in Dayton and after graduating from high school began designing and manufacturing bicycles – the Wright Cycle Company. In this way, they secured the necessary finances for their flight experiments, which they started already in 1899. Since the brothers worked on research together, they both have equal credit for the development of the airplane. They first produced gliders with which they completed more than 1,000 flights, later in 1903 they patented a new steering method, which was based on controlling the aircraft around three axes. The patent was registered on May 22, 1906 as “US patent” number 821,393 – “Flying Machine”.

In 1903, they built an airplane originally named the Wright Flyer, better known today as the Kitty Hawk, which had a self-made propeller and an engine made in their bike shop. This engine was better than ordinary engines produced at the time, mainly because of its light weight. A bicycle chain was used for transmission. On December 17, 1903, each of them managed to take off with the machine. Orville was the first to fly, his flight was 39 meters long and lasted 12 seconds. He was even captured in their most famous photograph.

The last fourth flight that took place that day was already a real controlled flight. Wilbur flew a distance of 279 meters and the flight lasted 59 seconds. These flights made a significant mark in the history of aviation, as they were the first demonstrable public flights. The attempt of the Wright brothers immediately got into almost every newspaper. All flights took place at Huffman Prairie Flying Field near their hometown of Dayton. Soon after the first flight, the brothers applied for a patent for the plane, but did not fly until 1908 – they were afraid that their patent would be revealed.

Paul Laurence Dunbar has achieved national and international fame in the literary world. He was a gifted writer full of ideas, whose works include not only novels, but also plays, short stories, lyrics and more than 400 published poems. Dunbar was the first African-American writer, and his works contributed to the growing awareness of social and cultural identity for African-Americans. He died in 1906, but his works also contributed to the later development of African-American history.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio