Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center Travel Guide

  • Glass walled exhibition area for glider
    Glass walled exhibition area for glider
    by grandmaR
  • Portrait Wall and seating for Ranger talks
    Portrait Wall and seating for Ranger...
    by grandmaR
  • Visitor's Center from the Parking Lot
    Visitor's Center from the Parking Lot
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Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center Things to Do

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    There was to be a ranger talk at the main auditorium at 4. So we drove over for that. It was worth staying for.

    Bob had said that he didn't understand the way that the Wrights controlled their airplane, and the ranger explained it using the model to help demonstrate. Pitch was controlled with the left hand (the engine throttle was in the right hand), and there was a hip cradle which controlled the yaw and roll. One of the Wright's breakthrough's was to link the roll and yaw into one control.

    He said that the Wright Bros only patented one item and that was the control system for flying, and that all airplanes today use that system. They didn't bother to patent the prop design which is 81% efficient - modern ones are only 85% efficient.

    Wilbur died in NYC in 1912 of typhoid, but Orville lived until 1948, and became wealthy.

    Visitor Center Open: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Memorial Day - Labor Day
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm the rest of the year

    Programs listed will be offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Flight Room Talk is 10, 12, 2 and 4.

    Model in Visitor's Center with mannequin
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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated May 4, 2005

    The visitor center houses exhibits which are available year-round and include reproductions of their wind tunnel, the 1902 glider and the 1903 Flyer.

    The pictured item is a Kenwood Sewing Machine which was used by Wilbur Wright in 1900 to modify the fabric used on the first glider. It belonged to Addie M. Tate, at the time, and was donated by the Tate family.

    Additional exhibits are in the Centennial buildings.

    Sewing machine
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Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center Warnings and Dangers

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated May 4, 2005

    These portraits are added annually by the First FLight Society to the Paul E. Garber First Flight gallery. However, they are not added in any kind of sequence which would enable someone to walk down a kind of timeline. The first six years, they added:

    Date added Name Achievement

    1966 Wilbur and Orville Wright

    First to achieve successful powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine, 1903

    1967 Charles Lindbergh First non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris, 1927

    1968 Richard Byrd First to fly over the North Pole, 1926 First to fly over the South Pole, 1929

    1968 Jacqueline Cochran First woman to pilot an aircraft supersonically, 1953

    1968 Amelia Earhart First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1932
    First pilot to fly solo Hawaii to California, 1935
    [Her portrait is the one top center left (4th from the left and 5th from the right) in the brown jacket]

    1968 Charles E. Yeager First person to pilot an aircraft at supersonic speed, 1947

    1969 Glenn Curtiss Pioneer aviator, designer and manufacturer

    1969 Jimmy Doolittle First to make an all-blind instrument flight from take-off to landing, 1929

    1969 Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Michael Collins First lunar landing aboard Apollo 11, 1969

    1970 Wiley Post First to fly solo around the world, 1933

    1970 Igor Sikorsky First to design, produce and fly a helicopter in the western hemisphere, 1940

    1971 Thomas Selfridge First military officer to pilot an airplane, 1908
    First fatality in powered aviation, 1908

    1971 Robert White First astronaut designee in a winged aircraft, 1962

    1972 Grover Loening First civilian aeronautical engineer in the US Army,
    1914

    Aviation Pioneers
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Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center Favorites

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated May 4, 2005

    Favorite thing: In 1966, the Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association was rekindled as the newly-incorporated First Flight Society.
    The Society established the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine. (The Shrine is named for Paul E. Garber, the first director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.) The Shrine honors those individuals and groups that have achieved significant "firsts" in aviation’s development. A new member of the First Flight Shrine has been inducted during December 17 ceremonies every year since 1966, and is honored with the unveiling of their portrait.

    Top right inducted in 1971 Robert White First astronaut designee in a winged aircraft.

    Bottom left inducted in 1976 is Alford Williams the Navy's first chief test pilot; father of dive bombing

    The top left picture was a 1991 inductee Hans Von Ohain who developed the engine powering the world’s first jet plane

    Bottom right inducted in 1997 is Tom Davis Pioneer in commercial aviation

    Fondest memory: In 2000, my daughter came to vacation on the Outer Banks, and they came here. My SIL took a picture of my granddaughter who is named Amelia with my daughter in front of Amelia Earheart's portrait.

    Four Aviation Pioneers
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