Aircraft Association Unveils 1903 Wright Flyer Reproduction to
Kick Off Countdown to Kitty Hawk Tour
Will Re-Enact the Wright Brothers First Flight on December 17,
WASHINGTON, D.C. , (March 18, 2003) - With the countdown clock
ticking to the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first
powered flight, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) today
unveiled its 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction in a ceremony at
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
As the world's most accurate re-creation of the original Wright
Flyer, EAA's Flyer reproduction will re-enact the Wright brothers'
first flight 100 years to the minute on Dec. 17, 2003, in Kill
Devil Hills, N.C. Prior to this historic event, EAA's 1903 Wright
Flyer reproduction also will serve as the centerpiece of EAA's
Countdown to Kitty Hawk touring pavilion. The 24,000 square-foot
exposition will celebrate the Wrights' first flight with displays
on the Wright brothers, aviation history and aviation innovations
along with activities for youth.
With Amanda Wright Lane and her brother Stephen Wright, both
relatives of Wilbur and Orville Wright, looking on, EAA and its
sponsors for Countdown to Kitty Hawk rolled out the 605-pound
aircraft handmade primarily of wood, steel and muslin.
EAA President Tom Poberezny
addresses the audience at Reagan National Airport, March
18th, with the EAA reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer
in the background.
"The eyes of the world will be on EAA's Wright Flyer this
coming Dec. 17 as we attempt to re-create the Wright brothers'
first-powered flight on the dunes of North Carolina," said
EAA President and U.S. Centennial of Flight Commissioner Tom
Poberezny. "This Wright Flyer reproduction represents a
long-standing commitment by EAA and its partners to preserve the
Wright brothers' legacy and their unbridled spirit of innovation
that forever changed our world."
Ken Hyde, of Warrenton, Va.-based The Wright Experience, the
organization that built EAA's Flyer, said, "It's pretty easy
to build a Wright Flyer replica that looks like the first plane,
but it's very difficult to build one that is an exact
reproduction. Building this Flyer was the ultimate reverse
engineering job with a major catch - we had to ignore what we had
learned over the past 100 years and embrace the Wright brothers'
way of thinking."
Also during today's event, Ford Motor Company, the presenting
sponsor for EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk, unveiled its new 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.
try their hand (and hips) at EAA's Wright flyer simulator,
which is powered by Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Jan Valentic, vice president of global marketing for Ford Motor
Company, said, "We're celebrating the Wright brothers' spirit
of innovation with our Lincoln Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition. With
Henry Ford's strong ties to aviation history, we see Countdown to
Kitty Hawk as an opportunity to focus on the progress in both
automotive and aviation transportation over the past
Ford Motor Company, EAA and Discovery Channel also announced a
partnership to create documentaries to celebrate the impact of the
Wrights' first flight on the world, as well as to explore Ford
Motor Company's crucial role in aviation history and the ingenuity
of Henry Ford as he brought affordable ground and air
transportation to the masses. Plans include a live telecast from
the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C.,
on Dec. 17, 2003.
EAA UNVEILS 1903 WRIGHT FLYER
legend Scott Crossfield, center, attended the grand
unveiling March 18.
Another sponsor, "Microsoft Flight Simulator," also
demonstrated a 1903 Wright Flyer virtual cradle to accompany its
upcoming "Microsoft® Flight Simulator: A Century of
Flight" software program. The cradles, which will be part of
the touring pavilion, allow would-be pilots to operate 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.
Eclipse Aviation is also a supporting sponsor of the program.
Countdown to Kitty Hawk partners include Flying Magazine,
Library of Congress, National Park Service, First Flight
Centennial Commission and Inventing Flight.
EAA also announced the addition of a Countdown to Kitty Hawk
tour stop at the National Business Aviation Association's 56th
Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 7-9,
Additional tour stops include:
April 2 - 8, 2003 Sun N' Fun EAA Fly-In, in Lakeland, Fla.
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
In early 2004, EAA's 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction will become
part of a new aviation display at the Henry Ford Museum in
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
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.