Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Of It's Kind

One of the gems of the Smithsonian's collection of everything is this, the very first airplane to make a controlled flight. The Wright brothers flew this very plane over the dunes at Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903. Imagine that, the very airplane that made that flight 106 years ago. The wings were covered in new canvas some years ago in case you're wondering why it look so clean and shiny. And some sections of it were rebuilt by the Wright brothers after those historic flights that day, as there was apparently some damage to the plane at the end of the day. But this is still the plane.

One wing is 4 inches longer than the other, to compensate for the weight of the engine not being perfectly centered. It's amazing the things you learn.

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