Aviation Day 2020

Wednesday, August 19 was National Aviation Day. The power of flight is truly a magical thing. Yet, some scientific and technological marvels become so commonplace that we seldom take the time to re-examine their revolutionary impact with an open and inquisitive mind. In just a handful of generations, aviation went from pure, pie-in-the-sky speculation to a mundane reality that inspires about as much wonder as a trip aboard a Greyhound bus.

It’s that ho-hum attitude to the miracle of flight that makes National Aviation Day such an excellent national observation. Plus, it takes place on Orville Wright’s birthday! In order to celebrate National Aviation Day, here are a few high flying fun facts:

  1. Although it may seem like a lot of people are afraid to fly, aviophobia afflicts only about 6.5 percent of the population.
  2. Worldwide, only about 5 percent of the population has been on an airplane (we are doing everything we can with our programs to change that 🙂
  3. The first U.S. president to fly in an airplane was the adventurous Theodore Roosevelt, who flew in a Wright Flyer on October 11, 1910.
  4. The Wright Brothers got their mechanical training as owners of a bicycle shop.
  5. A Boeing 747 without engine power can glide about two miles for every 1,000 feet or so that the plane is above the ground.
  6. The Wright Brothers — with Orville at the helm and Wilbur making a final wing adjustment — completed the first sustained flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft on a spit of land four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December, 17, 1903
  7. Legend has it that Chinese Emperor Wang Mang ordered a soldier to strap two wings to his back. The soldier, covered in bird feathers, flew 100 meters in 1st Century AD

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