National Aviation Day Celebrations in Manteo, NC August 19th

Tommy Blackburn and other pilots from VF-17 standing beside Blackburn's somewhat perforated F4U Corsair, Old Hog on a Pacific Island during WWII. Prior to their departure for the the front lines, VF-17 had worked up from NAAS Manteo on Roanoke Island in North Carolina... site for the First Flight Society's National Aviation Day celebrations on August 19th, 2022. (image via

As noted in the First Flight Society’s press release from a couple of days ago, the organization is celebrating National Aviation Day at Dare County Regional Airport on August 19th. They have just released additional details (see below) regarding the day’s events, which will include the opportunity to ride aboard the CAF Capital Wing’s TBM Avenger. For readers who don’t know, the present day airport began life as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Manteo during WWII, and saw many famed aviators receive some of their training in the skies above – perhaps none more famous, of course, than the pilots of VF-17 Jolly Rogers who worked up at NAAS Manteo in April, 1943 before their first tour in the Pacific Theatre flying the might F4U Corsair… so Dare County Regional Airport is hallowed ground for many. Roanoke Island, the small scrap of coastal land where the airport sits, is also well known for being the site of the first British settlement in the US, the notorious Lost Colony established by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585, but the island’s human history dates back at least 10,000 years prior to that…

KITTY HAWK, N.C. – July 19, 2022 – One month from now, the First Flight Society holds its 4th annual National Aviation Day  (NAD) celebrations at Dare County Regional Airport on August 19th, 2022. The event runs from 10AM-3PM and features Airplane Displays, Exhibitors, and Food Trucks. The mission of the celebration is to provide a fun and educational experience promoting, honoring, and celebrating the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers and helping educate the world about aviation. NAD is a free event aimed at all ages.

NAD is also Orville Wright’s birthday. Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt was the creator of National Aviation Day, deciding for the first time in 1939 that the nation should celebrate the growth and advancements being made in aviation.

Our keynote speaker will be historian Larry Tise. His presentation is titled “The Elusive Orville Wright from Kitty Hawk and Beyond.”

Another highlight will be warbird rides. To combine the First Flight Society observation of National Aviation Day and the mission of the Commemorative Air Force, the Capital Wing will bring the queen of its fleet, a TBM-3E Avenger named “Doris Mae” on August 19th and 20th and provide warbird rides to the public. Advance purchases of rides in the TBM can be made online at:

Confirmed exhibitors include Kitty Hawk Kites, Civil Air Patrol, Military Aviation Museum, Elizabeth City State University, Dare County Radio Control Flyers, AOPA, Dare County and Tubbs Hot Dogs.

Dare County Regional airport (MQI) is located at 410 Airport Road, Manteo, NC 27954.

Additional information can be found at

The Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association, later named First Flight Society, began as a group of local businessmen who successfully petitioned the US Congress to fund and build a monument to the Wright Brothers’ 1903 achievement.

The FFS plans an annual celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17th to memorialize the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC.


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