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Quicker Than You Can Say “The Wright Brothers: First in Flight” — Kitty Hawk Is Only 20 Minutes Away from Duck, North Carolina

Posted by: Roxy - Print This Post Print This Post

Since the New York Times was only planning on 36 Hours in Duck, NC, and Cindy Price probably pictured us as a hip, childless yuppie couple, her article made no mention of Kitty Hawk, which is only 20 minutes away by car.  One of my fondest memories of a childhood vacation with my parents (second only to Billy the Lifeguard from Kiawah Island) was visiting Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

Since I didn’t keep much of a journal until I was in high school, and I think I was in 7th or 8th grade when I last visited the Wright Brothers National Memorial, I’m going to rely on the web site instead of my memories to plan our trip.  The visitor center includes:

  • Exhibits on the Wright brothers’ background and the development of their gliders as well as the 1903 Flyer
  • The crankcase of the original 1903 Flyer
  • A flyable 2003 replica of the 1903 Flyer
  • The Wright Brothers Bookstore operated by Eastern National
  • The Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine - established in 1966 by the First Flight Society, the shrine honors individuals and groups that have achieved significant firsts in the development of aviation.

The Centennial Pavilion:  Built in 2003, the pavilion exhibit hall houses exhibits dealing with the Outer Banks at the turn-of-the-century, the evolution of aviation, the challenges of flight, the development of the 2003 replica, and NASA-sponsored space exhibits as well as a Gift Shop. Children’s programs, special events, and films are presented in the multi-purpose auditorium.  

Living Quarters and Hangar:  A two minute stroll from the visitor center, the living quarters and hangar are reconstructed at the original locations. The living quarters is furnished with items similar to those that the Wrights used from 1900 to 1903 and the hangar replicates the building where the Wrights stored their 1903 Flyer.

Flight Line:  Located just west of the reconstructed camp buildings, a large granite boulder commemorates the take-off point for the first successful powered, controlled-flights by the Wright brothers. Four smaller stone markers chart the path of the flights.

I hope London and Maddie find Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers National Memorial as interesting as I did when I was a kid.  As first and second graders, they haven’t likely learned much about the Wright Brothers in school, but in the past they’ve surprised me by taking an interest in history and science.

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Who's talking: Shinade. Leave your comment
  • Shinade
    8:29 am on September 30th, 2008 1

    Hi Roxy,
    I think you have a grand day planned. Walter and I travel through N.C. quite a bit.

    He loves anything that has to do with being in the air or in space. We have talked about visiting this very location many times.

    I just know both London and Maddie will have a ball!!

    My goodness how in the world do you do it? I can barely manage to stay up with one blog!!

    have a great day!!


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