Wright Brothers National Memorial

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina is home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, which honors Orville and Wilbur Wright for making history by completing the first controlled, powered flight. The Wright Brothers Memorial is located near the site of their first successful flight on December 17, 1903. 

Two clever bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio named Orville and Wilbur Wright were captivated by the prospect of powered flight. The dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, were chosen for the experiments because of the reliable winds and forgiving terrain.

On that fateful day in 1903, the Wright brothers finally put their years of hard work into building and flying their airplane, the Wright Flyer. The inaugural flight was 12 seconds long and covered a total of 120 feet (36.6 meters). The day continued with four more successful flights, the longest of which lasted 59 seconds and covered 852 feet (260 meters).

In 1927, a memorial dedicated to the Wright Brothers was built to recognize their pioneering work and recognize their impact on the aviation industry. A granite memorial standing 60 feet tall (18.3 meters) honoring the Wright brothers’ grit and innovation stands atop Kill Devil Hill.

The memorial features a museum with reproductions of the Wright Flyer and other artifacts from the brothers’ experiments as well as displays that provide light on the history of aviation’s early days. To symbolize the pioneering spirit and creativity that altered the course of human history and made the heavens accessible to human ambitions, the Wright Brothers National Memorial was built.

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