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Experimental Aircraft Association Extends National Countdown To Kitty Hawk Tour
Exhibit Featuring the Authentic 1903 Wright Flyer Reproduction Coming to NBAA Convention In Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla., and EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. (April 22, 2003) - The Experimental Aircraft Association has extended its national tour of EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk presented by Ford Motor Company tour with a new stop at the National Business Aviation Association's 56th Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 7-9, 2003.

This will be the final tour stop before the historic re-enactment on the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight on Dec. 17, 2003, near Kitty Hawk. Eclipse Aviation, one of Countdown to Kitty Hawk's sponsors, also will have a major presence at the show.

As a sponsor for Countdown to Kitty Hawk, we are honored to play a role in bringing this celebration of the invention of powered flight to the business aviation community," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.

Prior to the historic flight re-enactment on Dec. 17, 2003, EAA's 1903 Wright Flyer authentic reproduction is traveling the country serving as the centerpiece of EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk exposition ( In addition to the aircraft, the exposition at NBAA will celebrate the Wrights' first flight with displays on the Wright brothers, aviation history and aviation innovations.

"Few things will be seen as more significant this December than the 100th anniversary of mankind's first powered flight," said EAA President and U.S. Centennial of Flight Commissioner Tom Poberezny. "Until the time our Wright Flyer reproduction attempts to duplicate the Wright brothers' feat at Kitty Hawk, we want as many people as possible to have a chance to see the Flyer up close."

Also as part of Countdown to Kitty Hawk's presence at NBAA, Eclipse Aviation will announce the "No. 1 Aviation Innovation of the First 100 Years" for its "Greatest Aviation Innovations of the First 100 Years" initiative. The public is voting online ( and at tour stops to select the No. 1 innovation from a list of aviation milestones that have benefited travelers by decreasing travel time, increasing comfort, reducing cost and improving air safety. Voting participants are eligible to win a deluxe travel package to Kitty Hawk, N.C., for the historic re-enactment of the Wright's first flight on Dec. 17, 2003.

"It's been a very exciting 100 years, as flight has developed beyond even the inspired imagination of the Wright Brothers," NBAA President Jack Olcott. "NBAA is proud to host the Countdown to Kitty Hawk exhibit at its Annual Meeting & Convention as the business aviation community looks toward the next century of aviation opportunities and challenges."

Ford Motor Company, the presenting sponsor for EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk, will showcase its new limited 2003 Lincoln Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of flight and Henry Ford's contributions to aviation history. Like the first powered flight, the automaker is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as well.

Another sponsor, Microsoft Flight Simulator, also will enable visitors to fly a 1903 Wright Flyer simulator cradle featuring the new "Microsoft® Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight" software. Visitors fly the "aircraft" from a horizontal hip cradle, using hand levers and a shifting hip mechanism to control virtual takeoffs and landings in front of a giant panoramic projection screen.

Countdown to Kitty Hawk partners include Flying magazine, Library of Congress, National Park Service, First Flight Centennial Commission and Inventing Flight: Dayton 2003.

Additional tour stops include:

  • June 13 - 16, 2003 Ford Motor Company's 100th anniversary celebration in Dearborn, Mich.
  • July 3 - 20, 2003 Inventing Flight: Dayton 2003 in Dayton, Ohio
  • July 29 - Aug. 4, 2003 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Oshkosh, Wis.
  • Aug. 23 - Sept. 1, 2003 Museum of Flight in Seattle, Wash.
  • Dec. 12 - 17, 2003 First Flight Centennial Celebration in Kitty Hawk, N.C.

In early 2004, EAA's 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction will become part of the new aviation display "Heroes of the Sky" at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

About EAA
EAA, the leader in recreational aviation, is an international association with 170,000 members and more than 1,000 local chapters. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or explore EAA's Web site (

About EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk Presented By Ford Motor Company
EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk is a centennial celebration of the Wright brothers' first powered flight - an innovation that forever changed our world. Led by EAA, presented by Ford Motor Company and supported by Microsoft Flight Simulator and Eclipse Aviation, this yearlong series of inspirational events honors the innovation and determination it takes to make world-changing dreams a reality. Countdown to Kitty Hawk features an interactive touring pavilion and the world's most accurate 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction that will exclusively re-enact the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 2003 - exactly 100 years later. For more information regarding the program, check the official Countdown to Kitty Hawk Web site (



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