Aircraft leasing magnate Steven Udvar-Hazy will be awarded this year’s Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, for “innovative aerospace business practices, improved aircraft design, piloting skills and selfless philanthropy, ensuring preservation of our aerospace history.” Udvar-Hazy’s multimillion-dollar donation allowed the construction of the National Air and Space Museum’s annex at Dulles Airport.
Wright Model B
On a blustery day on a deserted beach near Nags Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, two brothers began humanity’s controlled adventure away from the surface of the Earth that continues to this day.
No one has kept the Flyer aloft for more than a minute, not even the Wright brothers. So the crowd clapped politely after watching this latest crash. “C’mon, it’s all ones and zeroes. You can’t do any harm,” teased Microsoft executive Bruce Williams as he invited all comers, including the ample security force, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to drop to their bellies and swivel their hips on the Flyer simulator.
OK, first about the photo. We promise this will be the last time we’ll show the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., and the Wright Flyer in the pages of AIN, at least until 2103. But we just couldn’t resist running a photo of an airworthy Wright airplane reproduction next to a business jet, albeit a mockup.
December is the month that aviation honors the Wright brothers for their contributions to aviation, and we certainly all owe them for what they accomplished. However, there was another person at Kitty Hawk who made a great contribution toward powered flight. Lest he be forgotten, I thought a little history would help inform those who might not be aware of Charles Taylor and his many accomplishments.