Pat Shingleton: Lift Off
We continue our column from Wednesday with Wilbur and Orville Wright's designation of Kitty Hawk for their first flight. On September 15, 1903, a Category 2 hurricane hit the Outer Banks with 72 mph winds. When the Wrights arrived at their camp at nearby Kill Devil Hills, ten days later, the shed that housed their glider was lifted from its foundation. By December, they perfected the aerodynamic and stabilization issues previously encountered and for the first time in aviation history, added a motor. Their first attempt at a sustained, powered flight was unsuccessful due to an engine stall, resulting in minor damages. With a frontal passage two days later, their fourth and most famous flight lasted 59 seconds and a distance of 852 feet.