The reason we came to the Outer Banks of North Carolina was to spend a week partaking in one of our other passions…kitesurfing. But the wind gods were not with us for many of those days, and so we were looking for activities to fill our time. I knew we were less than an hour from Kitty Hawk, the birthplace of powered aviation, so with surprisingly little resistance I coerced the whole group to spend half a day on an adventure to learn how this whole crazy flying world started.
The trip was an eye opening realization of how quickly and how far we have come from these initial flights. The innovation of a couple of brothers (built on the work of so many others) was the genesis of getting a man to the moon, and an autonomous rotorcraft to Mars! (And me building an RV-8 :)!) I am awed by the accomplishments of these two, and those that followed. I learned that at the time no one realized the impact of this telegram, but wow, what a significant moment in hindsight.
Below is a gallery of images taken during the visit. I highly recommend anyone in the vicinity go visit the monument.
There is a small airport at the monument KFFA (First Flight Airport). We had picked up some yummy crab cake sandwiches and were eating lunch nearby when I noticed none other than a beautiful yellow RV-8 parked in transient parking. I wish I had the forethought to take a picture but at the time I hadn’t considered writing a blog post about the day. Was it a sign? Who knows, but I do know that it inspired a new goal for my RV-8 completion. Now I’ve got two places I want to go with my plane. Oshkosh, and First Flight Airport.
Although it was a short visit I’m glad I was able to make the pilgrimage.It puts a lot of things in perspective. If a couple brothers, over 100 years ago can achieve first powered flight in 4 years, then surely I can build a pre-designed kit plane in that same amount of time. I’ll declare now, that in honor of the Wright Brothers, my new goal is to make it to Oshkosh, and then to KFFA by Oshkosh 2025! Thanks Wilbur and Orville. Let’s see how this post stands up to the test of time!!