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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An Alternate Time Line- The 1905 Flyer III Flies Again!

And now a look into the future of a possible time line: The 125th anniversary of the Wright Brother's flights of December 17th, 1903 promises to be spectacular, according to committee members in Dayton Ohio. Little could they know that certain individuals in one of the 50 States of our great Union had plans to sabotage this momentous celebration....
The diabolical  group had driven the distance from their home State through the late evening hours, and eventually arrived at the 70/75 interchange just north of Dayton in the dark hours of the night of December 16th, this year of 2028. Their evil plans involved a daring climb to the very top of the 1905 Wright Flyer III monument, with the heinous intention of spray painting the words "Connecticut First in Flight" on the underside of the Flyer's wings. Little could they know that a freak monster winter storm was working its way toward Dayton, whipping up a frenzy, and headed for a collision course with destiny. 
The 50 ton, 1905 Wright Flyer III stainless steel structure with 144' wing span had been completed in 2023, honoring Wilbur and Orville Wright, the inventors of the world's first practical aeroplane, perfected at Simm's Station in the years 1904 and 1905, and housed at Dayton's Carillon Historical Park since 1950. Three times the scale of the original, it perches 270' above the ground, and is viewed by passengers of more than 53 million automated vehicles a year.
The record low temperatures of 2025 finally convinced scientists world wide that the planet was undergoing global cooling. Growing ice sheets at both poles were affecting weather patterns, and this December of 2028 was no different. Arctic air  from the north converging with warmer air from the west, and the usual hot air extending from the Connecticut area, swirled together in a wintry mass labeled by the media as the storm of the century, nicknamed "Gust of White" due to the projected high winds and blinding heavy snow.
"As the nation braces for the Gust of White heading(1) for its neighborhoods, millions will be pounded by the swirling mass of blinding white snow, sleet, hail, freezing rain, and an occasional shark. Repair crews from around the nation are prepared to assist in neighboring states where substantial storm damage is expected to result in extended power outages affecting millions."
With backpacks full of spray cans, the Connecticut spoilers scale the base of "The Triumph of Flight". Like stink bugs on a squash vine, they climb upward toward the Wright Flyer, prepared to lay their eggs upon the historic fabric, to bring their false claim before the eyes of the world in the coming morning light. But the approaching storm head had another plan in store.  
They didn't see it coming, but they heard the roar. The cold front hit the saboteurs with full force, instantly freezing them in place on the steel supporting cables at their climbing positions roughly 200' above ground. The gale force was not sufficient to pry the Flyer from its perch, as the monument had been meticulously designed structurally to withstand such a scenario.  However, it was not designed to withstand a fiery multi-ton chunk of space rock, set in motion eons ago, hurtling downward from the magnificent desolation of outer space, buzzing(2) through the Earth's atmosphere, coincidentally aimed directly for the monument's structural base. Upon impact, the structure's lower base was vaporized, and the steel supporting cables broke free, whipping about the Connecticut stink bugs in their frozen positions on the surly strands of steel in the wintry white out.
Though the supporting structure had vaporized due to the intense heat of the meteorite impact, the Wright Flyer remained stationary in the air, soaring in place for a period of time, 9 minutes and 45 seconds to be exact(3), until the gale force winds turned the Flyer and took it south toward the sleeping city. Steady for the course, it followed 75 southward to eventually pass directly over the Main street bridge, over the former location of Steele High School(4), barely clearing the Centre City Building, (the former United Brethren Publishing House)(5),  swinging westward along Third Street, over the river, and whipping southward near Broadway Street(6), it suddenly made a clean circle, the first of its flight(7), making a bee line(8) back toward downtown Dayton, for a destination 8 miles to the east.
In the early morning hours of December 17th, 2028, the Wright Flyer III gently landed on its skids in the snow covered field of Huffman Prairie. Sliding to a stop, it came to rest adjacent to the reconstructed Wright hanger. The only witnesses to this great historic event were just a small handful of cold Connecticut historical revisionists frantically trying to pry themselves loose from the steel strands that lay entangled in the snow behind the Flyer. Perhaps this time, they'll see the cold hard facts and confess that here on this spot, Man learned to fly.

Huffman Prairie, WPAFB

For the real facts concerning "The Triumph of Flight" monument, go to 

For another alternate time line, go to "What it the Wright Brothers had not experimented in flight in the early 1900's?"

Follow the puns:
1. Play on claim of first flight by Gustave Whitehead, the biggest snow job yet.
2. Play on "Magnificent Desolation" by Buzz Aldrin.
3. Orville Wright's record soaring time at Kitty Hawk, October 24th, 1911.
4. Katharine Wright taught at Steele High from 1899 through 1908.
5. Bishop Milton Wright editor of Religious Telescope at Brethren Publishing House 1869-1877.
6. Passing Wright Cycle Shop on 3rd street, and Orville's Lab on Broadway.
7. First full circle was performed in Wright Flyer III at Huffman Prairie, September 20th, 1904.
8. Circle flight witnessed by Amos Root of Gleanings with Bee Culture.

Index of Topics

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wilbur Wright's Smile

At the age of 19, Wilbur Wright suffered an injury in Dayton, participating in a group game on ice skates. He was struck by a "bat" in the face, damaging some teeth. The extent of damage to his teeth is unclear, and the exact nature of dental repair that was necessary is not known, but what is known is that he was self-conscience of his smile, and so rarely showed it. With this I can identify, having crooked teeth and a chipped front tooth as a teenager. But, those tight lipped smiles do exist, and this simple post provides the evidence. Something I've learned- it's not the teeth that matter much, as I've seen some very sweet toothless's the sparkle in the eyes reflecting the inner spirit.
Pau, France, 1909- From "Gentleman Amateurs" by Mark Bernstein

Early 1909, Wilbur at Pau, France- "Gentleman Amateurs", Mark Bernstein, produced by Dayton Daily News

1908, at Camp d'Auvours, France- "The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age", Tom Crouch and Peter Jakab

1909, Fort Myer- "The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age", Tom Crouch & Peter Jakab

At Governor's Island, Hudson-Fulton Celebration "A Week with Wilbur Wright" as reported October 17th, 1909, New York World by H.M.Smith-
"He did not announce that he was about to make a great flight: that he was about to do anything out of the ordinary.
'It looks like a good day for flying,' was his characteristic announcement, made when he arrived at Governor's Island at 9 A.M.. Pointing a finger at the newspaper men gathered around his shed he remarked humorously:
'It'll do you boys good to do a little work after loafing around here for a week.' Immediately a dozen correspondents rushed for the aeroplane, bringing it out of the shed and dragging it several hundred yards over the sand to the starting monorail.
He had not told them of his intention of flying up the river and they thought he was merely going to make a short flight around the island. They were taken completely by surprise when he announced in a very matter of fact way that he was going to take a look at the warships.
After he returned from his flight it was the hardest work getting him to tell his story. The reporters had to draw it out of him bit by bit. His success had not changed him in the least and he was still the modest, self-controlled, retiring Wilbur."
Wilbur with Charlie Taylor, 1909, Governor's Island, smiling while telling the reporters they can do some work now.

 For a great Orville Wright smile, check out "Orville Wright's Sense of Humor"
Index of Topics

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The So-Called Smithsonian Contract Controversy

It is amazing that poor behavior in the past by one party (the Smithsonian) to another (The Wright Brothers), which was ultimately confessed and an apology given, would now repeat in history with similar poor behavior by others (Connecticut Legislators) against the same party (The Wrights). The old saying goes "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" It is for this reason that when the 1903 Wright Flyer was turned over to the Smithsonian in 1948 for display, that a "contract" was agreed upon stating that if the Smithsonian were to ever again identify some other aeroplane as being the first capable of controlled and powered manned flight prior to the Wright's first flights in December of 1903, then the Flyer would revert to the Wright Estate. This agreement makes total sense. Those who would discredit the Wrights of their rightful place in history cry "Contract Controversy!", which is total nonsense. I had intended to write a post on this subject, but found that all I would have said has already been well stated at the following posts at 
The two posts are called The Smithsonian Contract, and The Case of Gustave Whitehead. My only comment is to oppose the suggestion made at the conclusion of the post that perhaps it is time for a change, and that a joint statement from the Smithsonian and the Wright heirs be offered stating that they will consider amending the agreement should someone present credible evidence of someone else obtaining first flight. No, I suggest no such agreement as it would only embolden the historical revisionists, suggesting perhaps that there may be some truth to their fantasies. It has been over 110 years since the first flight of December 17th, 1903! What about other established historical events? We don't need an agreement, for example, that if someone present credible evidence that perhaps George Washington wasn't our first president, we'll dismantle the Washington Monument. We don't need an agreement that if perhaps someone present credible evidence that the South won the Civil War, we'll divide the Union. We don't need an agreement that if perhaps someone present credible evidence that Neal Armstrong wasn't the first to set foot on the moon, we'll close down the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. These are all events well established in history, as is the event of first flight, December 17th, 1903.

October 24, 1942 Smithsonian publication ending the 1914 Langley Aerodrome controversy.

Index of Topics