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New Monument To Honor Wrights

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December 17, 1903, is remembered as the day when the Wright brothers first flew successfully in North Carolina, but now a group in Dayton, Ohio, is working to build a monument to the brothers' pioneering work there. The brothers' bicycle shop was in Dayton, and there they worked on their 1905 design, which improved on their original ideas and convinced the public they had truly solved the problem of controllable and sustained flight. A nonprofit group is working to raise $12 million to build a 250-foot-tall monument to the 1905 Flyer that would stand at the intersection of two major interstate freeways.

The monument, which was first proposed in 2005, would feature a three-times-life-size model of the 1905 Flyer on top of a soaring pedestal, and would be visible to more than 52 million vehicles passing by every year. About $1 million has been raised so far, a spokesman for the group recently told local media. NASA is testing a model of the design in a wind tunnel to ensure that it would be stable in strong winds even when covered in snow and ice. Dayton already has preserved a number of historical sites to celebrate the Wrights' contributions. The new monument would become part of the federally designated National Aviation Heritage Area.

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