Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The Mothership has landed at Tranquility Cove. No, not the Tranquility
Cove on the moon but the one in South Carolina. We drove straight
through from Kitty Hawk to this location in seven hours last Saturday.
We have really tested the heating system of the Mothership because one
night it got down to 23 degrees and with the dual furnaces we were cozy
as can be. We are spending Christmas with Bob's mom and dad and
enjoying just kicking back and relaxing. Bob helped his dad activate
the second tuner on his Tivo yesterday. We ran a second coax feed from
his dish which already had a 4 output multiswitch on it. So, it was an
easy job and it is really nice having that second tuner running so he
can record one channel while watching another or record two different
channels at the same time.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


This is the Harry Combs replica. The guys on the Wright Experience
Team, (the ones that attempted the flight), suggested that we walk up
and take a look at this one. They said their replica was a little worn
from all of the flying and that this one was a pristine replica. We
actually felt the Wright Experience Replica was probably more like what
the Wright Brother's plane looked like after all of its flights.
Actually, as you can see in the photo below, the Wright Experience
Replica is quite beautiful. We told them that they had done a wonderful
job at demonstrating what a difficult thing the Wrights had
accomplished. Mr. Combs, now 80, is a significant figure in the
aviation field. He was president of Gates Learjet Corporation from 1971
to 1982 and commisioned this copy of the 1903 Flyer. The reproduction
was built with over $1 million donated by Combs. The plane was donated
by Mr. Combs to the Wright Memorial on December 17, 2003 and will be on
permanent display at the Visitor Center at the Wright Memorial.

Today, Thursday, June 18, is the day after the official closing of the
Centennial of Flight Celebration. We drove by the memorial and the main
entrance was closed but we decided to go around to the First Flight
Airport to ask if we could come in and take photographs. Everyone we
talked to were friendly and told us we were welcome to walk in and take
photos. We went to the Wright Experience EAA Pavillion and talked with
the members of the team who said it would be fine if we took photos.
This is a small example of one of the photos. I am going to create an
album to store the higher resolution images. I will post a link to that
site when it has been completed.

Wright Experience - Reconstructing the Wright Brothers' Legacy

Wright Experience - Reconstructing the Wright Brothers' Legacy
The above link is to the website published by the group that created and learned to fly the replica of the 1903 Flyer. It is the most complete assemblage of information, photos, and documents relating to the Wright Brothers and their flight experiments.

2003 - Vol. 31, No. 12 - Capturing History - The Daniels/Wright Photograph

2003 - Vol. 31, No. 12 - Capturing History - The Daniels/Wright Photograph

The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers

The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers The Library of Congress Collection.

Root Candles

Mr. A. I. Root's account of the Wright Brother's activities, Jan 1, 1905
Mr. Root was a beekeeper who wrote extensive books called, "Gleanings in Bee Culture." I learned of Mr. Root from my dad who was an avid beekeeper many years ago. The following quote is from The Root Candles Website by Amos Ives Root:
"A.I. was a visionary with faith in others who dared to dream. A friend of the Wright Brothers, he published the first account of their flight (found today in the Smithsonian Institute) when few others believed what they had done. He was a humanitarian lauded by 11 year old Helen Keller for his kindness. "

The Root Candles Website

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Aviators are a persistent group of people. This was the view around
eight o'clock this morning in cold pouring rain. The word was out that
the best view was from the hill where the monument is located. We
chose to try to be close to the starting point but the rain prevented
the attempt from taking place while we were out at the field. We are
both too tired and cold to go back out but you can be assured that most
of the people you see in this photo are still out there watching. - Bush honors anniversary of first flight - Dec. 17, 2003

CNN filed this excellent report. An attempt to fly took place a few minutes ago but the wind was not sufficient to help the small 12 horsepower engine and the Flyer ran the length of the rail but did not leave the ground. We must remember that the Wrights did their testing at Kitty Hawk because of the wind. The day they flew the wind was blowing over 20 mph. During this afternoon's attempt it was no where near that velocity. There is no doubt that another attempt will be made soon. - Bush honors anniversary of first flight - Dec. 17, 2003
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An impressive force travels with the president. These are only some of
the helicopters that arrived with him. These were Marine Corps Blackhawks.
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The president departs in his helicopter. After about half an hour Air
Force One flew over the field.
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We watched President Bush make a speech but had to watch him on the
Jumbotron since we were on the other side of the field near the takeoff
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Here we are about an hour into the rain. At this point we were still
hopeful that the clouds might lift and the Flyer would make its
flight. But, after a couple of more hours of this we could take it no
longer and returned home.
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This photo says it all. The flight this morning was scrubbed due to
weather. We arrived before daylight and within an hour were huddled
under a small umbrella in pouring rain. We did get to see the
president and John Travolta so that was neat. We are back in our house
drying out. We just turned on the tv and CNN says the attempt to fly is
going to happen in thirty minutes. After a couple of hours we were both
soaked to the bone and so cold that we could not stand it any longer. We
don't even think we can get back to the field in that amount of time so
we will probably just watch it on CNN. They may do it again tomorrow
and if they do I will go back out. Barbara has had it with mud, rain,
and cold.
It is 5:35 AM and we have had breakfast and are getting dressed for our trip to the Wright Memorial. The weather forecast calls for light rain this morning followed by a break and then heavier rains after that. We are hoping they can get in an attempt to fly during the interval in the rains. Our dilemna is how to dress. It is warm this morning, around sixty degrees F, and after the rain passes through it is supposed to drop to cooler temperatures. We are going to try to take our big umbrella and hope security will let us take it inside. John Travolta is the master of ceremonies this morning and rumor has it that the president will be there for the ceremony. This is the big day and we hope the flight will be successful. We are exctied and will be on our way to the shuttle pick up shortly.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Today the Celebration of Flight honored all of the aviation greats. On stage were John Glen, Buzz Aldrin, Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, Jeana Yeager, and many others. It was an amazing assemblage of aviation greats. Tomorrow is the big day for the reenactment of the first flight. The weather forecast is for rain and wind so we are not sure how it will go but we are planning on being there VERY early in the morning. We plan on catching the shuttle around six in the morning.
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Barbara contemplates some of the major milestones of aviation highlighted in the Century of Flight Monument.
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We discovered this wonderful monument to 100 years of flight. It is located at the Kitty Hawk, NC visitor centor. Each of the metallic columns contains plaques that document major milestones of aviation from all over the world for the last 100 years. It was a very well done and informative monument. The metallic columns, polished metal, gave the monument an aviation feeling while honoring all of the major accomplishments. We learned a lot and both Barbara and I continue to be amazed at the dramatic advancements that have taken place over a very short period of time. Images :: Outer Banks Horses

Here are the photos we took of the Outer Banks Art Horses. We took a break from the Centennial to track down the horses that are part of the celebration of the one hundredth year of flight. We met other people who were photographing the horses and spoke with a lady at a gallery who was involved in painting some of the horses and for keeping them looking freshly painted. There are about a hundred or so of these winged horses at various locations. Tomorrow's weather forecast is for some rain and wind. We are glad we came because we now have a better feel for the weather conditions that the Wright Brothers had to deal with out here. Enjoy the horse photos by clicking on the link below. Images :: Outer Banks Horses

Monday, December 15, 2003

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This is a replica of one of the Wright Gliders in the Centennial of
Flight Pavillion. The exhibit also contained very interesting displays
about the Wrights, the Outer Banks, and examples of what conditions were
like back then. We have learned that the Wrights dealt with a Category
II hurricane, extreme winds and temperatures, and clouds of mosquitoes
that would block the sun. They called the cold nights "five blanket
nights." These guys had to really want to fly badly. The other thing
that we have learned is that they approached the flight problem very
methodically. They seem to have been among the first to use a project
management approach to solving the problem through experimentation,
design, and testing.

Winged Horses of the Outer Banks

Winged Horses of the Outer Banks

Outer Banks Press: Winged Horse Extravaganza

Outer Banks Press: Winged Horse Extravaganza
We have been seeing these really neat horses at various places out here on the Outer Banks. We are going to take some photos of as many as we can locate.

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Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks Horse article.

Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks Horse article.
Seems that the horses are so popular that people are rustling them.
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Another crowd shot. Look closely at the horizon on the monument hill
and you will see a small fraction of the thousands of people climbing to
the top.
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Here is a closeup of the Orville statue that is part of the Wright Flyer
Monument and sculpture. Note the boy climbing on board next to Orville.
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This is Barbara standing next to the Wright Flyer Monument that was
dedicated last Friday. It is an all metal copy of the Flyer. We
noticed that kids loved it because they could climb on it and pretend to
be flying it. There is a statue of Orville lying on the wing as if he
were flying.
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I think there is pretty good coverage of this event. Look at the
network satellite dishes. I am sure there will be DVDs published after
the event. Set your Tivos or VCRs for December 17th at 8pm and 11pm for
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This is a shot of the "Heritage Flight" flyovers. This one is a P-51
Mustang with two A-10 Warthogs and an F-15 Strike Eagle. There were
several flyovers with P-51s and modern fighters in various
configurations. Very impressive. One flight was the P-51 and the F-15
in TIGHT formation. On the final pass the F-15 pilot kicked in the
afterburner and climbed away and the P-51 peeled off. We were impressed.
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Yes, it was as cold as it looks. We enjoyed talking with the gentleman
who took this picture for us. He said that he was an aircrew member in
dive bombers during World War II and was also a sailplane pilot. He
told us of flying off Vero Beach, Florida at 10,000 feet at night to
serve as practice targets for the F6-F pilots who were practicing
intercepting them as targets. He said they would fly back and forth for
four hours at a time and that it was very cold. He was waiting for his
wife and grand nephew who had climbed up to the memorial. His grand
nephew was 13 years old and lives in Oregon. He wrote them letters a
year ago and planned to attend. He was laughing that the letters
arrived addressed with only their first names in pencil.
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Our first day at the Wright Memorial was cold and breezy. This photo
gives you an idea of the thousands of people who attended today.
Transportation was excellent with travel to the memorial on shuttle
buses that pick up at regular intervals along the beach highway. There
is a pickup about two blocks from where we are staying so that worked
out well. We suspect that in those thousands of people there was
probably a high number of pilots based on the conversations we
overheard. All of the people we talked to were either pilots or had
served in the military as air crews. All were extremely friendly and
fun to talk to. We did not get to go in the Experimental Aircraft
Pavillion where the Wright Flyer Simulator is located but will do that
tomorrow. The field where the flight is to take place was still wet and
muddy from the rain on Sunday. I spoke with one of the Emergency
Medical guys and he said it would be completely dried out by Wednesday,
the day of the flight reenactment.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

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We drove along the beach yesterday and saw a few homes that are still
showing damage from the recent hurricane. This is a particularly
dramatic instance. We feel bad for the owners.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

We arrived in Kitty Hawk and drove by the Wright Monument on the way to our rented cottage. Lots of activity going on but by the time we got settled it was too late to attend today. We were lucky enough to catch complete coverage on tape on the local public channel. While driving back from getting lunch we saw someone hang gliding over the beach. This person's airmanship was so astonishing that we had to park and watch. He was flying over the dunes and the buildings in 25 mph winds. He was actually working the lift off individual buildings. I have never seen such skill in my life. I snapped this shot from a distance.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

We are in South Carolina on our way to Kitty Hawk for the Centennial of Flight Celebration. Spending one night here in SC and then off to Kitty Hawk in the morning. Had a great trip yesterday except for the last hour and half which was absolutely awful in driving wind and rain.

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