I can only take so much history and seriousness. It was time for a few laughs and some fun. So here I am just behind the Wright Brothers plane and I am ready for take off. I hope that photographer gets a good shot of this.
This national park is a very open and hands on type of area. You can walk up the hill to the monument. You can walk around and play with the model as I am doing here. And there is a very good museum on flight with videos and models to explore. It is well worth an afternoons visit.
There are three different models of the Wright Brothers plane on display at the Memorial Park. The first one is in the visitors center. This one is behind Kill Devil Hill and is set up to look like the actualy first flight. The third one is in the flight museum located on the path leading back to the parking lot. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you will notice there is a guy in a hat on the plane just behind the Wright brother. Its me, surprise surpise. I guess I could be labeled the Wrong Brother.
The Wright Brothers flight was documented throughly in photographs. Here is a model of one of the photographers as he stands behind a model of their plane ready for take off. But wait a minute. There seems to be a guy in a hat behind the photographer giving him some tips on photography. He is probably telling him to smile because he is about to be posted on an international virtual tourist web site.
This picture of the Wright Brothers is located in the welcome center when you visit The Wright Brothers Memorial Pylon at Kill Devil Hill. Historically, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first successful power driven airplane flight from Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk.
Once again I was became amazed at the achievement of the Wright Brothers when I saw this model of their small camp site. This area was completely open at that time. It was just a large windy hill with blistering sand blowing all over the place. Here they camped in two small structures in the winter on this sand dune. Their first flight took place on December 17,1903.
Kill Devil Hill is approximately 90 feet tall. Its a good walk to the top. There is a parking area near the Welcome Center. There is also a parking lot at the base of the hill. We were not aware of this and walked from the Welcome Center to the top. The 60 foot granite memorial was dedicated in 1932.
Here I am standing on top of Kill Devil Hill in front of the Wright Brothers Memorial Pylon. Sand dunes naturally shift with time and the winds. So in the early 1930 workers planted hearty grasses on the the dune to preserve it. After the planting construction was started on the large memorial. The memorial can be seen from miles away.
This model of the Wright Brothers plane is located in the Welcome Center at the Wright Brothers Memorial. I have seen pictures of the Wright Brothers flight in history books. But seeing this flimsy little airplane really brings into perspective the achievement of the Wright Brothers. I left with a new respect and awe for their work.
I don't consider myself to be an accomplished photographer by any means and given my equipment is a one-time use camera, I do the best I can. Never-the-less, I am modestly proud of these pictures! Not for anything that I did, but it was such a beautiful day with big billowing clouds and the monument was very photogenic, don't you think?
So this area is not so photographic but the historical significance makes up for it. Take a stroll on the very spot where the first flights happened and touch history!
There is a granite marker which marks the very spot where the first flight left the ground with additional markers denoting the lengths of the first four flights made on that day in 1903.
This is once again in the exhibit area closest to the monument. The title of this exhibit struck me as a bit odd, but what do I know? I suppose more knowledgeable minds than this one have historically reduced the challenges to flight into these 5 categories.
According to the NPS website:
"Professional photographs of the Wright Brothers Visitor Center tend to exaggerate its modern features by emphasizing the shell roof. With the barren site as a backdrop, all sense of proportion is lost. Drawings are equally deceptive. Even written descriptions distort the building's image by focusing on its relationship to contemporary airport facilities. In fact, the Wright Brothers Visitor Center is a small, relatively understated building. Despite the elevating concrete platform, it sits low in the landscape, allowing the hilltop monument to take center stage. Wright Brothers Visitor Center satisfied Director Wirth's mandate of protection and use. The building focuses on experience — leading visitors into the building, introducing a few facts, and then pushing them out to the site. The Wright Brothers Visitor Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 1998 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in January, 3, 2001."
You can walk the path of the original three flights the Wright Brothers made at this location. As you walk the path there are signs and information. Here is a granite carving of their images we saw on the walk.
As you continue your drive that completely encircles the monument, you have the opportunity to view and photograph this site from a variety of angles. This is another and there will be more for you to see later.
I'm sorry that all of the text is not visible for you to read here... I guess this is where a better camera would be useful. Still, I hope you can see enough to have some idea of the presentation.