Centennial Of Flight Update

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Wright Model "B" Crashes In Virginia...

The Wright Experience's reproduction of a Wright Model "B" crashed into a treetop Monday evening near Warrenton, Va., with airplane builder Ken Hyde at the controls. (This is not the reproduction of the 1903 Flyer that is scheduled to fly at Kitty Hawk in December.) Hyde was treated for injuries including a broken arm and released from the hospital. "I was dodging trees and power lines trying to get back to the airport," Hyde told the local newspaper, the Fauquier Times-Democrat. The aircraft had taken off inadvertently during a taxi test. The reproduction flies with an original Wright engine, and is being used for a NOVA documentary, "Inventing the Flying Machine," that will air later this year on public television. The airplane was retrieved from the tree with a cherry picker, and will be repaired. The 1911 Model "B" was the Wrights' most popular airplane, and was used for instruction at schools including the Wrights', the US Army's, and others established by former Wright pilots.

...Rare Appearance Of Three Jet Teams Set For Dayton Air Show...

If your travel plans for 2003 include a celebration of the first 100 years of powered flight, Dayton, Ohio's "Inventing Flight" events in July hope to get your attention. Among the highlights of the two-and-a-half week festival: A four-day air show, July 17-20, with all three North American military jet demonstration teams flying each day -- an unprecedented event in air show history, according to the organizers. The US Navy Blue Angels, US Air Force Thunderbirds and the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds will show their best. Among other highlights: a "spectacular" Grand Opening, July 3; a balloon rally, July 4-7; a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, July 11-13; a Pioneers of Flight Homecoming, hosted by Harrison Ford at the National Aviation Hall of Fame, July 19; and lots more. Dayton knows all too well that the Wright brothers are associated with the dunes near Kitty Hawk in the public consciousness, but the Wrights' bicycle shop and their home were in Dayton and the city hopes to teach that to the world this summer. Advance tickets and visitor info can be found online.

...Tickets Now On Sale For Centennial Celebration At Kitty Hawk

If you're thinking far, far ahead -- to the coming winter -- you can get your tickets online now for the Centennial events scheduled for Kitty Hawk, N.C., December 13-17. The celebrations are centered at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, and include exhibits, displays, and air shows. At a ceremony yesterday, the National Park Service opened its new 20,000-square-foot First Flight Centennial Pavilion at the Memorial, which will provide space for exhibits, meetings, concerts, and special events. On December 17, at exactly 10:35 a.m., the EAA's reproduction of the Wright 1903 Flyer will attempt to repeat the historic first flight. A 100-airplane flyover will follow. The National Park Service is selling one-day tickets for $10 and five-day tickets for $25. For more information, visit the First Flight Centennial Web site. Visit the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau for up-to-date accommodation information, or to request a Visitors Guide.