Local News

WRAL Celebrates Centennial Of Flight

Posted December 18, 2003

— Two attempts to re-enact the Wright Brothers' historic flight failed Wednesday.

The replica flyer first failed to get off the ground when officials tried to launch it just before 12:30 p.m. The launch was originally scheduled for 10:35 a.m., the exact moment that Orville Wright lifted his aircraft off the ground 100 years ago.

Rain forced it to be postponed.

The president of the Experimental Aircraft Association said winds needed to be between 10 and 22 miles an hour to get the replica off the ground.

Wind conditions were not favorable for a second attempt planned for 3:45 p.m. No other attempts will be made.

Thousands of people and aviation enthusiasts drawn by the magic of flight have descended on the slender barrier islands on North Carolina's Outer Banks to honor the work of two bicycle mechanics who made the first powered flight on Dec. 17, 1903.

North Carolina began planning for the $10 million celebration and party nine years ago. Appearances by Wright family members will be among the highlights of the special Centennial of Flight celebration.

Dozens of historic and innovative aircraft will fly over the site in addition to scheduled airshows by stunt pilots each day. There is so much air traffic expected that the Federal Aviation Administration has set up a temporary control tower at the park.

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