Wright Glider Solved Flight a Year Before 1903

In /


KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C.—Historian Darrell Collins stood next to the aging replica of the Wright glider, put his hand on a strut and recounted how the mastery of manned flight actually happened a year before the famous 1903 take-off.

“You cannot tell the story of the Wright brothers without telling the story of gliding,” said Collins, a 37-year veteran of the National Park Service and Wright historian for the past 25 years. “This is truly an inspiring story.”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Park Service. Later this year, the Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor center will close 18 months for renovations and for the addition of new exhibits. The replica glider may not be on display after the upgrades….

A replica of the 1903 flier sits next to the glider in a large display room of the visitor center. The replica glider was built in 1947 with Orville Wright’s blueprints and, in part, his direct supervision, Collins said.

Read the story by Jeff Hampton at the Virginian-Pilot.