September 25, 2008

The Friday Record - Wright Brothers' First Flight

Well, since I'm flying today (meaning Friday) from Texas to West Virginia for a wedding on Saturday and a visit with old friends (I shall refrain from saying 'really old friends'....lol), it seems appropriate to discuss Mike Flanagan's comments on "The First Flight of the Wright Brothers" in his book It's About Time: How Long History Took, page 4. Here's what Flanagan says:

"They had worked as printers and bicycle manufacturers, but brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright found themselves captivated by the aeronautical experiments of Otto Lilienthal. Their tests and experiments became serious in 1901 when they constructed a wind tunnel to test such far-flung ideas as wind resistance. On December 17, 1903, they successfully tested the first heavier-than-air machine (745 pounds) at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with Orville flying at an altitude of ten feet and a distance of 120 feet. Three flights followed on that day. On the last one, Wilbur flew 852 feet in 57 seconds."

The first flight, of 120 feet, lasted 12 seconds.

Here's some websites on the Wright Brothers and their place in history:

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl_wright_brothers.htm http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/wright/wright.html
http://www.wright-house.com/wright-brothers/wrights/1903.html

Information on Otto Lilienthal:

http://www.lilienthal-museum.de/olma/ehome.htm

I love to fly. I'm not afraid of it at all. I flew the first time when I was six and my father was sent to Guam by the Air Force. My mother, sister and aunt flew over six months after daddy went, cause a house on base was finally available for us. It was a 16 hour flight with a layover in Hawaii. Of course, two years later, we had to fly back. I remember the fact that we arrived back in the States before we left Guam...meaning Guam is on the other side of the International Date line. So, okay, I don't remember the dates now, but it was in July....and, for example, we left on July 6th, but arrived on July 5th.

I didn't fly again for many years, until I was 16, then again when I was 18 and went to Finland as an exchange student, and of course, back home. Again, a few years past before I flew with my children in the early 90's. The last time I flew was Pre-9/11, in 2000. So this will be my first experience with the new regulations. I have all my small bottles in my ziplock and since I was prescribed cough medicine today, I checked the government regulations on that. If it's over 3 oz, I have to have it checked by security. Not a problem. I'll do that, just so I'm not coughing during the nuptials.

I'm very much looking forward to my trip. And I thank the Wright Brothers for allowing me to make the trip in 2 1/2 hours, instead of 3 days!

What is your most memorable flight experience? I wont' comment about mine right now, but it's when I learned to carry underwear on your carryon luggage, not just in the 'checked' bags!

~Anna Kathryn
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6 comments:

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

I was almost 50 the first time I flew. I always figured I knew how to swim in a boating mishap, I could walk or crawl if anything happened on the ground, but flying? Not in my wildest dreams. So, all things considered, I figure I won't ever forget getting on that first flight. Oh, and to make it even stranger, my sweetheart piloted fighter jets off ships. Carriers look big up close, but landing on one in the middle of the vast blue? Too crazy for me. And I married him anyway. Go figure.

Jody said...

I really have never like to fly but when my husband's company folded and we got sent to Alabama I had to fly down through Atlanta all by myself. I was scared spitless, but i had just bought a romance with this wonderful stepback of a barechested hunk on the cover and I clutched that book for the full three hours of the flight. I figured if the plane was going to crash I was going to die with a grin on my face from drooling over that cover. I don't remember the book but lord I remember that guy on the cover.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Too funny Gwynlyn. I think the problem with flying is that we are completely out of control over what happens. I never would have been able to send my kids on flight alone. Silly, since if I was there, I couldn't stop something bad, but I was just too scared to send them down to their grandparents alone. It's not like a car, where we have some control, but I've been in a half dozen accidents in cars (at least) and none on a plane....grin.

Jody, when I flew to Finland, I read a book about a plane the military accidently fired a missile at, making all the people, but a handful, morons (literally) from lack of oxygen. The handful of people had to try to fly the plane, and not let the government shoot them down for good to cover up the mistake. I believe they made a movie out of that book.

I have three romance novels with me this time...two by good friends, so I'm good this go round. People couldn't believe I was reading that other book while on a plane!

~Anna Kathryn

Jane said...

My most memorable flight experience was the first time I got bumped to first class. There's such a big difference between first class and coach class. We got to sip mimosas and were given amenity kits and slippers. An assortment of snacks and alcoholic beverages are at your disposal.

Anne Carrole said...

I used to fly a lot and all over the world back in the day. I've had some turbulent flights but my most memorable was when, like you, they lost my luggage and I was slated to do a big presentation the next day. Thank goodness for credit cards and stores open on Sunday. Have a great trip.

Virginia said...

I have only flown twice in my life time and I am 53. Once we flew to Florida. The first time I was on a small plane that only had 4 seats in it. We took a plane ride at a small airport near where I live. That was a trip. They flew us over a lake and we were flying very low and it was funny because I kept looking around for a parachute and I wouldn't have a clue how to use it if there had been one on the plane. I look at hubby and ask him where the parachute's were. He laughed about that.