For immediate release
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015
Timothy R. Gaffney
Director of Communications
(937) 219-8277 (mobile)
Editors: Some summit participants will be available for photos and brief media interviews at the WACO Air Museum in Troy on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 12: 45-1:15 p.m. All summit participants will be at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to witness the towing of the first aircraft into the new building at 10:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2.
DAYTON, Ohio, Sept. 30—A dozen aviation writers and editors from around the United States gathered at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Wednesday, Sept. 30, to kick off the National Aviation Heritage Area Aviation Writers Summit Presented by Dayton International Airport.
More than 60 state and local elected officials, community leaders and representatives of aviation heritage organizations greeted the group with a reception in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, a welcome program in the Air Force Museum Theatre and a buffet dinner surrounded by historic aircraft in the National Museum.
The participants represent several of America’s premier aviation magazines and associations that produce major publications. They include the Smithsonian’s Air & Space, Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association’s AOPA Pilot, Aviation International News, Experimental Aircraft Association publications, General Aviation News, Kitplanes, Women in Aviation International’s Aviation for Women, the blog Jetwhine.com and several nationally published freelance writers and photographers.
Tom Crouch, senior curator of aviation for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and a trustee of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA), was keynote speaker. He described the area’s rich aviation heritage that began with the Wright brothers and continued with many of America’s most famous air pioneers.
“Pilots like Jimmy Doolittle literally wrote aviation history in the sky over Dayton,” he said, referring to a pioneer aviator best known as leader of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid in World War II.
Summit participants got their first dose of the region’s aviation heritage Wednesday afternoon with a two-hour guided tour of the Air Force museum.
“I didn’t realize how much is here,” said Kelly Nelson, editor of Aviation for Woman, who was making her first visit to the museum.
On Thursday, participants will dig deeper into the museum’s holdings and visit Wright State University’s Special Collections and Archives, the Champaign Aviation Museum and Grimes Flying Lab at Grimes Field Airport in Urbana and Dayton History’s Wright Brothers Aviation Center, including the original 1905 Wright Flyer, at Carillon Historical Park. The day will end with a reception at Hawthorne Hill, Orville Wright’s mansion in Oakwood.
The summit will wrap up Friday with tours of several Wright brothers sites including the Wright Company Factory, the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood, the restored Wright Cycle Co. shop and Huffman Prairie Flying Field. It will formally end back at the National Museum with an opportunity to watch museum staff tow the first aircraft—an X-15 rocket plane—into its new building.
Later Friday and Saturday, some summit participants are scheduled to take orientation flights on the Champaign Aviation Museum’s World War II B-25 bomber “Champaign Gal”, attend the hall of fame’s Friday night enshrinement gala and ride on the Wright “B” Flyer Saturday morning. The flights are subject to weather.
Dayton International Airport is the summit’s presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include: AAA Allied Group Inc.; Air Force Museum Foundation; Champaign Aviation Museum; Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park; Dayton History; the Greene, Miami and Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureaus; Marriott at University of Dayton; National Aviation Hall of Fame; United Airlines; Wright “B” Flyer; Wright Bothers Family Foundation, and Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.
The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) is a private, not-for-profit corporation designated by Congress as the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area. NAHA’s vision is for the Heritage Area to be the recognized center of aviation heritage tourism and aerospace innovation, sustaining the legacy of the Wright Brothers. The National Aviation Heritage Area is one of 49 National Heritage Areas in a program administered by the National Park Service. It encompasses eight Ohio counties—Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby and Auglaize. Visit www.aviationheritagearea.org to learn more about NAHA.