It’s been 100 years since the death of Wilbur Wright and to honor the aviation pioneer the city of Dayton, Oh will host a commemorative memorial service June 1.
Wright, along with his brother, Orville, are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane along with creating the first controlled, powered and sustained flight back in 1903. Just a couple years later, the brothers further developed their plane into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.
Long before the brothers built their first airplane, they spent time as children playing with a toy helicopter given to them by their father. The two played with the helicopter so frequently that it broke… so they built their own. Both of the brothers said it was their experience with this toy that ignited their interest in flying.
Although most people credit the Wright Brothers with inventing flight, the brothers themselves credit themselves only with the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated the services of a “flying machine.”
Throughout the early years of the Wright Brothers’ success, they were involved in many patent-wars and controversy from other pioneers of aviation who claimed that they were the ones who created flight. However, the Wright Brothers continued on with improving their “flying machine.” By 1909 they started the Wright Company.
Wilbur Wright acted as president with his brother Orville serving as vice president. The company consisted of a factory in Dayton along with a flying school and test flight field Huffman Prairie; the company headquarters was in New York City.
As aviation became more and more mainstream, the Wright Brothers continued to be innovative and the company grew to include cargo aircraft, military planes, and more and more personal aircrafts.
Controversy followed the brothers throughout their careers, but the world will always know them as the two brothers responsible for changing travel as we know it.
To celebrate the life of Wilbur Wright, who died at just 45 years old from typhoid fever, there will be a service at the Wright family’s burial site at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. Neil Armstrong will speak at the ceremony along with members of Wright’s family.
The event will begin with a fly over by the Wright B Flyer and it will close with a “Missing Man Formation” fly over by members of the WACO Historical Society. A moment of silence will be observed at area churches and businesses at 3:30 p.m. June 1.