Today is the 110th anniversary of the first powered flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. This anniversary is a good jumping-off point to reflect on how far aviation has come in the past 110 years.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Going, Going, Gone: Vanishing Americana, one of my favorite books, offers compelling evidence of how fast our world is being transformed. On page after page, we see products, services, vocations and styles that once seemed integral to daily life but have nearly or completely disappeared. Remember milkmen? Carbon paper? Phone booths? Drive-in movies? Vinyl records? All gone or mostly gone.
The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Air Force Museum Foundation for construction of a fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The grant was made on behalf of PPG Industries’ aerospace business. The new building, scheduled to open in 2015, will feature four galleries illustrating the U.S. Air Force’s contribution to the space program; its role in transporting the president and other leaders; its contribution to global airlift missions; and research and development aircraft.
Stevens Aviation’s Dayton facility dates back to 1946 as Ohio Aviation. It was one of the original Beechcraft distributors and authorized Beech Aircraft Centers. During the 1970s Ohio Aviation expanded its operation by adding facilities in Cincinnati and Cleveland. In 1983 Beech Aircraft purchased Ohio Aviation but continued operating it under its original name. Beech later sold the Dayton and Cincinnati operations to J.P. Stevens, which merged them into its aviation subsidiary, Stevens Aviation.
The National Aeronautic Association has announced the winners of the 2010 Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman Awards and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. Ceremonies for the Elder Statesman Awards take place on November 8 in Arlington, Va., to honor recipients Gene Kranz; Maj. Gen. Charles D. Metcalf, USAF (Ret.); Robert L. Taylor and Barry Valentine.
The Dayton Air Show again selected Aviation Sales as the preferred FBO for the annual airshow at James M. Cox Dayton International Airport. The show, held July 18 and 19, brought a big boost in business to Aviation Sales, which also owns an FBO at Dayton Wright Brothers Airport. The Dayton facility is the closest to the runway and has a large ramp and hangars available for overnight storage.
The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced that Sarah Bryn Rickman is this year’s recipient of the seventh annual Combs Gates Award. An aviation author and historian, Rickman received the $20,000 cash award for her trilogy based on the women pilots of the Ferry Command.
“This is a look-alike, not a replica,” said engineer Walt Hoy at the unveiling of the Wright Brothers’ “Silver Bird” Tuesday at Booth No. 3104. “You need to step back a hundred yards to make it look ‘Wright,’” he said, since its design was driven by practical needs for portability and durability.
The First Flight Foundation received the $20,000 Annual Combs Gates Award and $20,000 from the National Aviation Hall of Fame in recognition of its restoration of the iconic Kitty Hawk, N.C. monument that honors the Wright Brothers’ first flight there in 1903, and their achievements thereafter.
Russ Meyer, former chairman and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co., will be one of four inductees into the National Aviation Hall of Fame next July. The other three inductees for the year will be announced on December 17, but because Meyer is such a big part of business aviation, NAHF elected to make the announcement about him at the convention. NAHF executive director Ron Kaplan made the announcement at NBAA’s Opening General Session Monday.
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