Huffman Prairie, Dayton
Huffman Prairie Flying Field covers 84 acres, and is one of four main locations in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. This field, along with the nearby Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, are located within Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but are operated by the National Park Service and open to the public. Huffman Prairie was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990.
On this site in 1904 and 1905 the Wright Brothers took the designs from their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and flew hundreds of times and made modifications in an effort to perfect their flying machine. Finally on October 5, 1905, they had a successful flight of 24 miles in 39.5 minutes, longer than all of their previous flight attempts from 1903 and 1904 combined!
Both sites are owned by the US Air Force, but jointly funded between the Air Force and the National Park Service.
After their successful flight at Kittyhawk, the Wright brothers returned to Dayton and began perfecting their aircraft through a series of flight tests at Huffman Prairie.
The Visitor's center is free and includes a small museum.
Everyone knows that the Wright Brothers made their historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. But it was at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, right here in Dayton, that they really mastered flight. Here they experimented with new prototypes and aeronautical concepts. They developed the techniques that enabled them to not only fly but to maneuver an airplane.
The Interpretive Center here provides a wealth of information about those early days, now a century ago. See where and how it all took place.