It hasn’t been since Texas that I had taken a day off to do some proper sightseeing, so I figured I would enjoy a day in the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are home to Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers National Monument, birthplace of powered flight.
At the Wright Brothers National Monument there are a series of four cairns set up, each representing the distance covered on each of the four flights of the Wright Brothers first plane, “The Flyer" The distances of the first three flights were: 120, 175 & 200 feet. Those distances seem so meager when physically looking at them. A kid could throw a baseball 200 feet. The fourth flight was a much better at 852 feet. Even so, 852 feet is still less than three football fields in length. While not very long, it was the start of something much, much bigger.
From 1903 to present, powered flight developed at astounding an astounding rate, sometimes by aircraft enthusiasts and at others by various governments.
Look how far powered flight has come in 78 years:
1903 - First powered flight
1911 - first flight across the Untied States
1914 - first scheduled commercial flight
1929 - first blind flight, instruments only
1933 - first round the world flight
1939 - first true jet powered plane
1942 - first rocket in space
1947 - first flight breaking the sound barrier
1957 - first rocket carrying cargo to space
1961 - first man in space
1969 - first man on moon
1970 - Boeing 747 makes first commercial flight
1976 - Concorde began commercial service
1981 - first reusable space craft lands after first mission
OK, this is about riding a bike and not the history of flight, so I will leave it at that. I am just really impressed.
In the afternoon I went for a walk along the beach. It was the first time I had enjoyed an East Coast beach in quite some time.