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The Wright Brothers Take Flight

December 17, 2009

On Tuesday, the new Boeing 787 took flight.  An amazing piece of machinery, and I’m not just saying that because my pop helped work on it.  It’s a carbon fiber composite body, with a range of fabulous new innovations designed to make the journey from Point A to Point B a whole lot nicer.  And I, for one, am all in favor of that.

It’s amazing in one way that we went from room-size computers to blackberries in less than 50 years and yet it’s been over 100 years since the Wright Brothers took flight in Kitty Hawk, NC and we don’t all have our own spaceships.  But it’s still even more amazing that, 100 years later, the same basic principles of powered flight used by the Wright Brothers are still in use today.  I know, there are now jet engines, and the wings are a heck of a lot different, and now we have little bags of peanuts and much less wind-burn, but still, you see my point.

On this day, December 17, one hundred and six years ago (1903 to be even more exact) the Wright Brothers–Orville and Wilbur–using their knowledge of mechanics from their bicycle shop in Dayton, physics, and good old-fashioned trial and error, became the first credited controlled airborne flight in the history of, well, the world.  Pretty awesome.  

Plus, they got a license plate (and a quarter) in their honor.   And I think that’s really the lesson.

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