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Leviticus 210/84: Wright Brothers took to the air .... in 1903

1903 - in fact that was 21 months and 15 days after mother Lilian Audrey was born in Musselburgh! No wonder she was always amazed by the development of air travel as she flew back and forth from Canada to the UK from 1953 onwards.
By Dwight D Eisenhower's Presidential Proclamation in 1959 December 17th is Wright Brothers Day. It commemorates the first successful flight[s] of a heavier than air mechanically propelled airplane made by Orville and Wilbur Wright on even date in 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville, on the toss of a coin, made that first flight for 12 seconds and 120 feet around what is now designated as the Wright Brothers National Memorial site. While other inventors had created planes that flew the brothers invented the first mechanically propelled aeroplane. Inspired by a rubber band propelled helicopter created by inventor Alphonse Penaud the brothers dedicated their lives to their invention. They'd first found success manufacturing bicycles including the Van Cleve and St. Clair but never lost interest in flight and continued to develop designs. By 1902 they were making progress with their gliders and nearing a successful mechanical flight so they sold their bicycle business to finally achieve their goal.


The brothers had a mishap or two before they were ready on December 17 with the wind was averaging more than 20 miles per hour. The brothers laid the launching rail on level ground pointing into the wind near their camp. Instead of trying an inclined launch as earlier and unsuccessfully this time the wind provided the necessary airspeed for takeoff. Orville's flight travelled a shorter distance than the wingspan of a Boeing 747, as was noted by observers at the 2003 centenary commemorations! Taking turns in 1903 the Wrights made four brief low-altitude flights that day. The flight paths were all essentially straight; turns were not attempted. Each flight ended in a bumpy and unintended landing. The last flight by Wilbur was 852 feet in 59 seconds, much longer than each of the three previous flights of 120, 175 and 200 feet. Wilbur's final landing broke the front elevator supports which the Wrights hoped to repair for an ambitious four-mile flight to Kitty Hawk village. Alas, soon after a heavy gust picked up The Flyer and tumbled it end over end damaging it beyond any hope of quick repair. It was never flown again and after a long time storage and eventually restoration it can be found today in Washington DC in the National Air & Space Museum.
Home on the ranch it was quiet … … but we did hang the wreath on the front door, receive a Wee Letterbox Hamper from the Ilkley granddaughters that contained myriad items that are being gratefully consumed; the Plymouth gin has already spiked the fruit cake Maureen kindly sent earlier. But the pieces de resistance taken for lunch were undoubtedly the Vinny Toasties as commended with the cheese delivered. Yes, we have a rarely used toastie device to give the crinkles as to be seen in the photograph. Inside is crumbled Vinny and sliced Conference Pear and alongside Vimmy's own recommended Woodbridge Pear Chutney. I used date and walnut loaf and Avril a gluten free seeded roll; both can be bettered since they fought the Vinny flavour. The recommendation suggested white bread which would probably be a tastier toastie even an extra crumble of Vinny too - but we have a new delight we can try with each of the cheeses in turn perhaps maybe with Cox's Apples as well as with those delicious Conference Pears. As for the crinkle inducing device I suspected it might have been a gift from Bryan from Canadian Tire.

Published Date: December 17th 2020


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