Tuesday, August 8, 2017

AVIATION: Wright Flyer puts Le Mans on Map...

Wilbur Wright piloting the Wright 1907 Model Flyer at Camp d'Auvours, an artillery field near Le Mans in France. Wilbur flew at Camp d'Auvours between August 16 and December 31, 1908. c/o Wright State University. (Image source:
As how many people know that the sleepy 'lil town of Le Mans featured Aeroplanes before some car race got started Thar' fifteen years later, eh?

Author's Note
As typical, this story has been languishing in Nofendersville since last winter, when I first listened to an excellent CD Audiobook upon the subject, and thus, if I can type fast enough, and mize knucels' don't get in the way, since after all, I'm a Bloody Vurd' Butcherer;Oh Never Mind! Then what better day to post this on, eh?

Arguably, only the most rabid, Hardcore Aviation enthusiasts devoted to the beginnings of manned flight, especially revolving around a pair of brothers from somewhere called Dayton, Ohio, will know what occurred on this exact day over a century ago.

Certainly, anyone interested with the origins of manned flight will know that on a frigid day at Kitty hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903 that the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first ever successful control powered flight aboard their Wright Flyer No. 1.

Yet since only five people witnessed that historic day on the desolate sand bluffs of Kill Devil Hills, whose motto is: "Birthplace of Aviation." most people didn't know about their achievement, while the Newspaper stories were totally far-fetched, leading to much speculation. As the brothers toiled in anonymity for another two year's refining their amazing machine

Although Kitty Hawk is often mentioned regarding this historic achievement, since it was the nearest established town then, some four miles away, as Kill Devil Hills wouldn't receive it's town charter until 1953, whilst the Wright Brothers National Memorial was dedicated Thar in 1932, nearly three decades after that historic day.

This North Carolina location was chosen by the brothers for its constant winds and soft landings the immeasurable sands offered.

Finally, the hour had come after years of ridicule, much by the French to begin preparations for public demonstration flights during the summer of 1908.

But first the Wright Brothers wanted to test their latest Wright Flyer version, now sporting two conventional upright seats side-by-side.

Arriving in late April, Wilbur found the remains of their previous camp on Kill Devil Hills in horrid squalor, from both man and Mother Nature, with the previous camp being almost invisible!

As he rebuilt camp, he constantly found reminders of the brothers previous visits, especially bits 'N pieces from their previous Flyers 1-2-3.

On May 7, 1908 Orville made his first practice flight, a scant distance of 1,000 feet, as the brothers hadn't flown in nearly two and one-half years, having been busy obtaining patents, potential production contracts and   a solicitor to represent their machinery in Europe, while the U.S. Government was still loathe to respond to their initial inquiries.

On May 14th, the assembled newspaper reporters witnessed the first flight of two men flying at once, albeit one of the passengers was the Wright's mechanic Charlie Furness, contrary to popular belief as the brothers had vowed to never fly together to prevent the risk of both dying simultaneously.

After a week of practicing in the far away, remote and desolate sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, Wilbur  accidently mistook the machine's control levers and crashed, wrecking the latest Aeroplane and curtailing practice, with Wilbur departing for France immediately.