NATIONAL AVIATION WEEK
National Aviation Week commemorates the achievements that have taken humankind into the great blue yonder! Always occurring during the week of August 19, the date coincides with National Aviation Day, which celebrates Orville Wright of the Wright Brothers. The Aviation Week Network sponsors conferences, exhibitions, webinars and other events around the world to celebrate the history of aviation.
Orville Wright made the first flight for 12 seconds and 120 feet around the site of Wright Brothers National Memorial, just south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. While the Wright Brothers were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, they are recognized as the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed wing flight possible.
Aviation history is full of exciting accomplishments, adventure, and daring heroism. In fact, numerous museums and landmarks across the country and around the world will walk you through aviation’s impressive timeline. From the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Ohio to March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California and the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., nearly every state in the country fills the imagination with original and replica planes of the pioneers of flight. Even the early frontier of space flight makes the agenda for aviation enthusiasts! Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center will not disappoint.
Of course, local libraries answer the call with shelves lined with books about every era of aviation. NASA also offers free e-books.
INTERESTING AVIATION FACTS
- The wingspan of the 747 is 120 feet, which is longer than the original Wright Brothers flight.
- Food tastes different under cabin pressure in an airplane.
- There are over 6,000 passengers in the air over the U.S. at any given moment.
- You can lose about two cups of water from your body for every hour you spend flying. If you’re traveling cross-country, keep yourself hydrated.
- The President and Vice President of the United States never fly together—nor do they fly with the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Prince Charles never flies with Prince William. Just in case…
- ORVILLE AND WILBUR WRIGHT – Two bicycle repairmen from Ohio.
- AMELIA EARHART – Female aviation pioneer.
- BESSIE COLEMAN – First female aviator of both African American and Native American descent.
- CHARLES LINDBERGH – first solo trans-Atlantic flight.
- MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN – WWI flying ace, the celebrated “Red Baron.”
- JERRIE MOCK – First woman aviator to successfully circumnavigate the globe solo.
- HOWARD HUGHES – Aviator, tycoon, movie maker and all-around eccentric
- CHUCK YEAGER – The test pilot who broke the sound barrier,
- YURI GAGARIN – First man in space.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Encourage schools and organizations in your community to celebrate the legacy of aviation.
Use #NationalAviationWeek in social media.
In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed August 19, the birthday of Orville Wright, as National Aviation Day.