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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Greene County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Huffman Prairie Flying Field

 
 
Huffman Prairie Flying Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
1. Huffman Prairie Flying Field Marker
Inscription. Huffman Prairie Flying Field, a unit of the Dayton Heritage National Historic Park, is the site where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew and perfected the world's first practical airplane, the 1905 Wright Flyer III, after their first flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. The Wright brothers mastered the principles of controlled, powered flight at Huffman Prairie during 1904 and 1905. From 1910 to 1915, they operated the Wright School of Aviation here, training many of the world's first pilots, including many military pilots.
 
Erected 2003 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission
The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 13-29.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 39° 48.393′ N, 84° 3.904′ W. Marker is in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in Greene County. Marker is on Mart Road, on the right. Touch for map. Accessed through gate 16-A from Valley Street (CR 444). Marker is in this post office area: Dayton OH 45433, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The First Airport (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trials in an Old Swamp
Huffman Prairie Flying Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
2. Huffman Prairie Flying Field Marker
(about 700 feet away); Flying Field to Air Force Base (about 700 feet away); Follow the Flight Path (approx. mile away); Miss that Tree! (approx. mile away); A Starting Device (approx. 0.3 miles away); They Had Done It! (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mormon Migration, Kirkland Camp / Facts About Kirkland Camp (approx. 1.1 miles away).
 
More about this marker. More than a dozen interpretive markers offer additional information along a 30 minute walk around the flying field.
 
Categories. Air & Space
 
Huffman Prairie Flying Field image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
3. Huffman Prairie Flying Field
The world's first airport, of sorts, was this otherwise rather ordinary field. The site boasts reproductions of the hanger and storage shed, catapult launch system, and white flags marking the boundaries of the field. The Wright brothers flew around the field in a circular pattern around this open area.
Reproduction Hanger image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
4. Reproduction Hanger
Inside are exhibits explaining the use of the hanger, the control systems used on the early aircraft, and general information about the Wright brothers operations here at Huffman Prairie.
A Tough Start after Kitty Hawk image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
5. A Tough Start after Kitty Hawk
This interpretive marker discusses the early testing done by the Wright brothers in 1904. The brothers chose this location as it was away from inquisitive eyes but afforded room to make some mistakes. Of course this was also the site of the earliest airplane crashes, as illustrated in the background photograph on the marker.
Reproduction Catapult and Rail Launch System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 26, 2007
6. Reproduction Catapult and Rail Launch System
Lacking the power of modern engines, the Wrights needed something to push their early aircraft into the air. They used a catapult system similar to this reproduction. A weight held under the metal frame was released and a cable system running through a set of pulleys would transfer the energy to the aircraft, throwing it down the rails and into the air.
Wright 1909 Military Flyer image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 19, 2006
7. Wright 1909 Military Flyer
One of the early airplanes the Wrights tested and perfected here at Huffman Prairie was the first military aircraft. A reproduction of the 1909 Flyer is on display in the nearby Air Force Museum. The original is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,049 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on January 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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