Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Celebrate National Aviation Day at Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial and the First Flight Society invite you to celebrate National Aviation Day on Saturday, August 19, 2017. The park will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and entrance fees will be waived for the event. The opening ceremony will begin at 9:45 am at the large covered tent south of the temporary visitor center. This special event will provide opportunities to explore aviation from the time the Wright brothers first took flight through modern aviation and space exploration today.
National Aviation Day was first proclaimed on August 19, 1939, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This day also coincides with Orville Wright’s birth date. In commemoration of what the Wright brothers achieved, the park will host special guest speakers, pilots, aircraft displays, and flight-related activities. Participating partners and exhibitors include the First Flight Society, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, Outer Banks Tourism Bureau, Kitty Hawk Kites, Skydive OBX, First Flight Foundation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Dare County Regional Airport, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - North Carolina Coastal Plain Wildlife Refuge Complex, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, District of Columbia Radio Control Flyers, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, and Outer Banks Repeater Association. All activities and events will take place on the park grounds. Plan to spend the majority of your visit outside and prepare for hot weather. For more information, see the detailed descriptions of activities and the schedule of events listed below.
National Park Service First Flight Junior Ranger: Pick up a junior ranger activity booklet from the temporary visitor center to learn about the Wright brothers and their journey to fly. Upon completion of the activity booklet, you will be sworn-in as an official First Flight Junior Ranger and receive your very own junior ranger badge!
National Park Service Social Media Scavenger Hunt: Pick up a scavenger hunt task list from the temporary visitor center that will direct you to explore the grounds and discover more about the history of Wright Brothers National Memorial. Share your experience on social media. #WrightBrosNPS #NationalAviationDay
First Flight Society Aircraft Display and Flyovers: The First Flight Society has arranged various airplane and helicopter displays near the Wright Monument. Get a close look at modern-day flying machines and talk with their pilots. Throughout the day, look to the sky for aircraft flyovers. (Weather Permitting)
NASA Langley Research Center: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center’s Centennial Experience Trailer will allow you discover 100 years of historic accomplishments related to aeronautics, science and space research, and exploration. Inside the Centennial Experience Trailer discover a variety of NASA artifacts, audiovisual technology and unique 3D imagery. Be immersed in Langley’s early beginnings as the first civilian aeronautics lab to becoming the birthplace of the NASA. You will have the opportunity to go with NASA as we take the next giant leaps- to make airplanes fly faster, cleaner and quieter, to improve our understanding of our home planet, Earth, and to have humans journey to Mars. Leave excited about Langley’s stories, legacy, and get ready to be part of its soaring future!
Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Sponsors Imagine Circus: Are they merely statues of Orville and Wilbur or are they alive? Come find out and take a selfie with the bronzed Wright Brothers presented by Imagine Circus.
NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary: Learn about the work the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources. Learn more about the nation’s first sanctuary and how NOAA works to protect the rich and diverse cultural resources off North Carolina’s coast. Find out how NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations; fleet of ships and aircraft facilitate Earth observations. Hear how NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters support hurricane and tropical storm research in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific.
NCDOT Aviation Exploration: Join Tom Freeman, Safety and Education Specialist for the North Carolina Department of Transportation Aviation Division, as he explores the field of aviation through presentations and special activities.
Kitty Hawk Kites Kite-Making, Stunt Kite Lessons, and a 1902 Wright Glider Replica: The Wright brothers first tested their flight theories by flying kites. Kitty Hawk Kites will be on hand to teach you how to make your very own kite to fly where the Wrights flew theirs. For those who want a more advanced kite flying experience, a Kitty Hawk Kite instructor can teach you how to steer, swoop, and dive a stunt kite. Kitty Hawk Kites will also have their museum quality 1902 Wright Glider replica on display. Take pictures and learn about the glider that Wilbur and Orville Wright used to teach themselves how to fly! (Weather Permitting)
District of Columbia Radio Control Flyers: The District of Columbia Radio Control Club will have their model helicopters and planes on display. Learn about the fun of flying radio controlled aircraft and model aviation.
For more information and the schedule for National Aviation Day, please visit http://www.nps.gov/wrbr. The First Flight Society is a long-standing partner of the National Park Service. For more information, see http://www.firstflight.org/.