Category Archives: Huffman Prairie Flying Field

Flying Wrights at Huffman Prairie Flying Field

hangar

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

field

The states of Ohio and North Carolina both lay claim to the pioneers of flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright. The compromise position has been for each to highlight their distinctive contributions. While both states feature aviation on their commemorative quarter coins, Ohio’s license plates read “Birthplace of Flight” and North Carolina’s reads “First in Flight”.

fence

I have twice visited coastal Kitty Hawk, where superior wind conditions aided the Wright Brothers’ first actual flights. A few years ago,  I finally had an opportunity to see an important part of Ohio’s half of the Wright Brothers’ fame: Huffman Prairie Flying Field.

catapult

It was here that the brothers worked out steering issues for the first viable airplane, the Wright Flyer III. Commuting to the remote farm field by trolley almost daily, they erected a hangar and a catapult amongst fields of cows. These 84 acres then became the world’s first airport and where the Wright School of Aviation trained its first pilots, several of whom eventually flew for the U.S military. Nine were hired to perform in “flying circuses” for the Wright Exhibition Team in 1910. Flight remained a risky pursuit, however, and for five of the first nine, the honor was short-lived.


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