Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Aerospace Week: Ohio's Historical Role Matters

My daughter at Huffman Prairie.

It's National Aerospace Week and I'm going back to its roots today as I write about it all this week.

Usually you start with history.  I'm putting it in the middle because it sets up my focus for the rest of the week.

A bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio was where the U.S. aviation and aerospace industry got started. 

And, even though Kitty Hawk and that first flight steals the show and gives North Carolina bragging rights, it was really at Huffman Prairie outside Dayton, Ohio where the Wright Brothers' tested and proved the the viability of the first commercial airplane.  It's that prairie off the interurban train line east of Dayton that held the key.  It's also where the industry began in earnest with making of aircraft and training of pilots.

Without the Wright Brothers, there's still aviation in the nation.  Just like without Christopher Columbus, someone would have found the continent eventually anyway.  However, without the Wright Brothers' location in Ohio, it's less likely Ohio enjoys the robust aerospace industry it does today.

Thanks, Orville and Wilbur.

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