[Fwd: [IP] The Wright Brothers' Centennial Re-enactment Falls Flat]]
Joseph S. Barrera III
joe at barrera.org
Wed Dec 17 17:54:57 PST 2003
It never happened. The experiment could not be replicated.
And they call this science?!
P.S. Plus, Bush sucks and so does NASA.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [IP] The Wright Brothers' Centennial Re-enactment Falls Flat]
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 20:35:58 -0500
From: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net>
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To: ip at v2.listbox.com
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Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 15:03:20 -0800
From: Bob Hinden <bob.hinden at nokia.com>
Subject: [Yahoo: The Wright Brothers' Centennial Re-enactment Falls Flat]
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To: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net>
The Wright Brothers' Centennial Re-enactment Falls Flat
I learned from a private pilot friend that because George Bush decided to
attend and fly in on Air Force One, private pilots could not fly in because
they closed the air space. Seems ironic....
The Wright Brothers’ Centennial Re-enactment Falls Flat
December 17, 2003
By DAVID E. SANGER
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C., Dec. 17 - After all that, Orville
and Wilbur had better luck a hundred years ago.
The replica of the Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer did not fly
at 10:35 this morning - there was not enough wind. And when
the attempt was finally made two hours later, the biplane
ran down a wooden launching rail modeled after the kind the
Wrights used, its nose tipped upward, and then it pitched
into a puddle of mud.
And so the living heroes of American aviation history, John
Glenn and Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Chuck Yeager,
stood in the rain with tens of thousands of others to honor
a feat of controlled, sustained flight that defied
reproduction a century later.
Instead, they heard from a former pilot in the Texas air
national guard, George W. Bush, who took two helicopters
and Air Force One to get to the dunes that on the Outer
"The Wright brothers' invention belongs to the world," Mr.
Bush said, standing before a giant mural of the Flyer in
midflight, "but the Wright brothers belong to America."
The White House had considered using the centennial event,
and the celebration of the spirit of exploration that
surrounded it, to announce a grand new mission for the
American space program perhaps a return to the moon. But
the Bush administration is encountering issues that the
Wright brothers could scarcely have imagined - from
arguments over what kind of mission NASA can handle and
whether to let the space shuttle program whither, to how
much would American taxpayers would be willing to pay for
A decision, if one is made anytime soon, would likely be
announced part of the president's State of the Union
address on Jan. 20.
With no grand goal to put before the nation, apart from a
vague commitment to keep America in the forefront of
aviation and exploration, Mr. Bush hailed the brothers and
tweaked their doubters.
"The New York Times once confidently explained why all
attempts at flight were doomed from the start," said Mr.
Bush, who makes little secret of his view that the American
news media is filled with naysayers. "To build a flying
machine, declared one editorial, would require `the
combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and
mechanicians from one million to ten million years.' "
"As it turned out, the feat was performed eight weeks after
the editorial was written," he said, to laughter and
(The editorial on Oct. 9, 1903, was not about the Wrights
but instead about the experiments of Samuel Langley of the
Smithsonian Institution, whose attempts to get into the air
ended about as gracefully as the attempt here today. The
commentary carried the headline "Flying Machines Which Do
Not Fly," and ended with the observation that "no doubt the
problem has attractions for those it interests, but to the
ordinary man it would seem as if effort might be employed
As the experiment today underscored, cooperative weather
was critical one hundred years ago, when the weather here
was cold and the wind strong. "Everyone who was here at
that hour sensed that a great line had been crossed and the
world might never be the same," Mr. Bush said. Falling back
to his Texas twang, he quoted a 12-year-old witness to the
event, Johnny Moore, who ran down the beach yelling "They
done it, they done it, damned if they ain't flew."
But with a politician's premonition that history is rarely
repeated, and failure is nothing to be associated with 11
months before an election, Mr. Bush left the field in
Marine One before the attempts to get the replica of the
Flyer into the air. The result was that the spectators who
had hoped to see the primitive wooden biplane buzz the
field got a very different sight instead: Ten minutes after
the exact moment of flight, Mr. Bush was just overhead in
Air Force One, looking out from his office aboard the 747
as it swooped in low over Kill Devil Hill, the dune where
the Wrights tested their gliders.
Then the president's plane slowly banked over the flat
field where the Wright's contraption had barely made it 10
feet into the air a century before. By way of comparison,
Air Force One is 231 feet long - not quite twice the length
that Orville Wright managed to fly on that first, 12-second
run of the day. (By late that day, Wilbur flew 852 feet in
But by 12:30 p.m., the pilot of the Wright replica, Kevin
Kochersberger, was ready to make a belated try. He never
made it off the ground, first prompting a look of chagrin
and later of laughter.
The organizers of the first-flight celebrations knew the
chances of failure today were high. While the replica had
flown successfully over the field in recent weeks, the
conditions had to be near perfect. With its small engine,
the Flyer needs winds of at least 10 miles per hour to get
off the ground, its designers said, and gusts that run
above 22 miles an hour can make it hard to control. The
problem is worsened by the fact that the plane's horizonal
stabilizer was too close to the wings, leading to frequent
stalls. But authenticity dictated that no one dared tamper
with the original design, which the brothers later
Still, the disappointment among the crowd was palpable.
Thousands had come to witness the moment, bringing small
children along, bundled in rain slickers. By 11 a.m., even
with Mr. Yeager on a stage describing his now-famous flight
that broke the sound barrier, they were streaming out of
But the relatives of the Wright brothers said that simply
being on the field, a hundred years later, was enough.
Amanda Wright Lane, the great grandniece of the Wright
brothers, told the crowds that her famous ancestors "may
have the best seats today, the view from above."
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