Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dayton Ohio Aviation Trail #1: Aviation Trail and Museum Center

I visited Dayton, Ohio, last year, and visited a few sites on the Aviation Trail. And when I track down my photos - they are somewhere on either my laptop or a loose memory chip, I'll share them here.

The Wright Brothers are claimed by two different state's aviation history. Kitty Hawk in North Carolina makes a big deal out of the Wright Brothers, who experimented with their gliders from 1900 to 1902, and flew the first powered flight in 1903 from Kill Devil Hills. After that, however, the brothers did the rest of their experimenting and perfecting at Huffman Prairie in Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton is also where the Wright Brothers lived, and so there's quite a bit of aviation history around the city. See it now, people, see it now, before it all disappears, as American life changes so much in the next few decades and soon people won't be able to afford to travel much beyond their home towns, even if they're allowed to by the Greenhouse Gases police.

Anyway, in the next few entries I'll be commenting about the Aviation Trail in Dayton. Not a lot of women aviation landmarks here, but that's okay!

When I visited Dayton last year I picked up: A Field Guide to Flight, On the Aviation Trail originally published in 1996. (So, 14 years later, how much of what was talked about in this book is still in existence, and how much has gone by the wayside...and how much will go by the wayside in the near future thanks to this lousy economy...we shall see as this series of blog entries progresses.)

The book divides the Aviation Trail into five parts: the West Anchor, the Central Loop, the South Loop, the East Anchor, and the North Loop.

WA 1 is the Aviation Trail Museum and Visitors Center. I've been in this! At the time of the writing of my reference book, it was under construction.

Here's the home page of Aviation Trail, who maintains all the sites on the trail.

And here's another site with a different URL, but talking about the same thing...:

The full name of the center is the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Aviation Trail Visitor Center. Paul Dunbar, the famous black writer who was a friend of Orville Wright's (they were in the same class together - Dunbar was the only black in that class) is linked with Wright here which seems kind of foolish. No insult to Dunbar, but he was a writer -- albeit a famous one -- and knew Orville as a printer who published his work, he had nothing to do with the aviation side... indeed he died young, at age 33, from tuberculosis.)

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