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    Museum Audio Tour 02: Early Years Gallery: The Early Years

    Museum Audio Tour 02: Early Years Gallery: The Early Years

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    Audio by NMUSAF PA 

    National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

    It is most fitting that the museum is located near Dayton, Ohio, the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright. The Wright brothers knew the U.S. Army would be an essential customer to make their flying machine company a success. It took them until 1909 to convince the Army Signal Corps to buy an airplane, and they sold one to the government only after passing many rigorous tests for endurance, distance and speed. At the entrance to the Early Years Gallery, you stand next to an exact reproduction of the Wright 1909 Flyer – the world’s first military heavier-than-air flying machine. It’s easy to imagine how great the potential for accidents must have been, and you may begin to understand how courageous those early pilots were. One exhibit is a testament to that very fact. Photographs and a broken propeller recall a day in September 1908 when Lt. Thomas Selfridge died in a crash during a flight trial with Orville Wright, thus becoming the world’s first military aircraft fatality. Nearby, you’ll also see the Curtiss Pusher, an aircraft designed by another famous early aviation pioneer, Glenn Curtiss, and the second type of airplane purchased by the military. Notice the second seat behind the pilot for a passenger or perhaps a student pilot to give him some feel for the aircraft before he was to fly solo. Also look for the Bleriot Monoplane … In 1909 a Frenchman by the name of Louis Bleriot, using a monoplane of his design, completed the first successful powered flight across the English Channel. Nothing could have more dramatically awakened Great Britain to the threat posed to their security by this new invention. Within a few years, Americans also realized that the oceans presented no barriers to airplanes.



    Date Taken: 12.31.1969
    Date Posted: 09.02.2015 12:11
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 41876
    Filename: 1509/DOD_102703997.mp3
    Length: 00:02:07
    Album Museum Audio Tour
    Track # 02
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US 

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