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News > Commemorative flight planned Oct. 2 from Huffman Prairie Flying Field
Military, civilians celebrate 100 years of military flight
A look-alike Wright "B" Flyer will depart Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio Oct. 2, 2010 and fly to Rickenbacker Airport in Columbus, Ohio, to reenact the first delivery of cargo by air which took place nearly 100 years earlier. The original event marked the birth of the air cargo industry. Cargo planned for the commemorative flight includes an advanced ceramic matrix composite cloth and a concept micro air vehicle model provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)
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Commemorative flight planned Oct. 2 from Huffman Prairie Flying Field

Posted 9/30/2010   Updated 10/5/2010 Email story   Print story


by Derek Kaufman
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

9/30/2010 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio  -- Weather permitting, a look alike Wright B Flyer will takeoff here early Saturday morning, Oct. 2, to reenact the first delivery of cargo by air.

The flight originating from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will include a turn over historic Huffman Prairie Flying Field, from where nearly 100 years ago Phil Parmelee, a pilot working with the Wright Brothers, transported 200 pounds of silk cloth to Columbus, Ohio marking the birth of the modern air cargo industry.

Instead of silk, the commemorative flight planned for Saturday will carry an advanced ceramic matrix composite cloth and a concept micro air vehicle model to highlight both the Dayton region's and Wright-Patterson's rich aviation history and continued prominent role in developing aerospace technologies. Wright-Patterson is home to the Air Force Research Laboratory and five of its 10 technical directorates.

The event at Huffman Prairie, which is free and open to the public, will include a brief media availability starting a 9:30 a.m. followed by the Wright B flyover at 10 a.m. Participants will include: Col. Richard "Duke" Hazdra, 88th Air Base Wing vice commander; Nicholas Georgeff with the National Park Service's Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park; Wright Brothers family members Amanda Wright-Lane and Stephen Wright; Parmelee family members Philip McKeatchie and Lecia Lamphere; and David Whitaker with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

After takeoff, the Wright B Flyer will head for Rickenbacker Airport, an international cargo-dedicated airport and multimodal logistics hub located in Columbus. Enroute it will briefly stop at approximately 10:30 a.m. at Madison County Airport in London, Ohio, for refueling and viewing by the public before proceeding to Rickenbacker.

Upon arriving at Rickenbacker Airport, the Wright B Flyer will take its place on display alongside modern jetliners which haul air freight from around the world to Columbus.

To help the public track or spot the Wright B during the flight, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance has set up a Twitter account and will send "tweets" as the flyer makes its way to Columbus over the Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 corridor. For more information visit http://twitter.com/aviationheritag.  

The reenactment is made possible by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance and Wright B Flyer, Inc. with support from the Columbus Regional Airport Authority and Lane Aviation.

Huffman Prairie Flying Field lies just south of the main runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is operated by the National Park Service. The field can be accessed at Gate 16A, off of Ohio State Route 444.

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