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Kitty Hawk Celebrations Mark 109 Years Of Flight

Wilbur and Orville Wright launched their first successful powered flight 109 years ago today on the Outer Banks. A series of events at the Wright Brothers National Memorial this morning honor the anniversary. Fly-overs by Marine jets and Coast Guard planes and helicopters and a wreath laying ceremony will be part of the activities. Joshua Boles is a park ranger at the Memorial. He says the weather was a challenge for those manning that first flight.

Joshua Boles: "The morning of the first flight the wind chill factor was 3 degrees. If you look closely at some of the historic photos you'll actually see water that is frozen over in low parts on the sand. You know they flew into a 27 mph head-wind and this was before Goretex. They were so focused on achieving their goal of powered flight that I don't know how much the cold really affected them that day on December 17."
NASA administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. will also be inducted into the First Flight Shrine today.  Bolden was commander of the 1994 Space Shuttle Discovery flight.  That was the first joint mission between the United States and Russia.

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.
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