This coming Friday marks the 118th anniversary of the first officially acknowledged, controlled flight by a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle – the famous Wright Flyer – which Orville Wright took aloft on a gusty morning in Kittyhawk, North Carolina on December 17th, 1903. To help celebrate this remarkable feat, the San Diego Air & Space Museum will run a replica of the engine which powered that aircraft. The brief engine run will take place at 10 am PST on December 17th, 2021 in front of the museum at Balboa Park in central San Diego, California.As the San Diego Air & Space Museum explained, they will be “…honoring the innovation, engineering, technology and aviation excellence displayed by Orville and Wilbur Wright – two charter members of the International Air & Space Hall of Fame – and engine designer Charles E. Taylor by running an exact replica of the engine they invented to pioneer powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903 – exactly 118 years [ago] to the day.”
Jim Kidrick, the museum’s President & CEO further noted: “Orville and Wilbur Wright and Charles Taylor are three of the GIANTS in aviation innovation and technology. By inventing powered flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers set all of the amazing accomplishments in aviation and space exploration the world has seen since in motion,” said. “Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Amelia Earhart repeating Lindbergh’s feat five years to the day later. Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in October, 1947. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin standing on the Moon in 1969. All of these amazing technological advancements in aviation and space innovation and exploration were a direct result of the pioneering and ‘can-do’ spirit of the Wright Brothers and Taylor.”
The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious institution of its kind in the world and is composed of hundreds of air and space pioneers, engineers, inventors and innovators, along with adventurers, scientists and industry leaders. NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts and Russian cosmonauts are honored in the Hall, as well as famous legends such as the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Notable inductees also include Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, Igor Sikorsky, Wernher von Braun, Jack Northrop, Jackie Cochran, William Boeing, Sr., Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Hoover, Ellen Ochoa, Peggy Whitson, Linden Blue, Patty Wagstaff, and many more.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.