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Were Wilbur and Orville Fighter Pilots?

Posted by aaron on October 26, 2009


Wright brothers first flight, Orville at the controls They didn’t drink. They didn’t smoke. They didn’t chase women. They didn’t cuss. They didn’t brag or like to talk about themselves. They didn’t wear a big watch. How could they possibly be fighter pilots. What they did do was never give up and they were, without a doubt, geniuses. Two typical fighter pilot traits, so maybe they were.
I read a kickass book about the Wright brothers last year, The Bishop’s Boys. It’s an amazing, detailed story of how Orville and Wilbur invented the airplane and what happened to them after that phenomenal event. Their initiatives and intelligence was nothing short of brilliant. When they weren’t getting the expected lift out of their wing design they built their own wind tunnel to test wing shapes and constructed their own lift tables. When no American auto maker could provide them with an engine light enough and powerful enough, they built their own. Amazingly, they paid for it all with their own money which, even more incredibly, cost them just $1000.

Point of flight plaque at Kitty Hawk

Because flying has been such a major part of my life for over three decades I had to get out to see where the Wright brothers first made powered flight a reality. So, two weeks ago, my wife and I flew out to the east coast and then drove to Kitty Hawk. It was a kickass trip. It was so informative my wife came away understanding lift vs. drag and that’s someone who has a problem with left or right and north or south. 

Landing point of first flight at Kitty HawkFour landing points of first four Wright brother flights

Kitty Hawk doesn’t look like it did over a hundred years ago but for me it was awe inspiring to stand where that very first flight started its takeoff and then walk the 120 feet to where the first powered flight landed. They flew four times that day, the last over 800 feet and you can see where it happened. You can stand at the top of Kill Devils Hill where the brothers tested and flew their gliders which eventually evolved into the first Wright Flyer. The display facilities are OK, somewhat quaint, but the overall experience of being there, where it all started, for was me was kickass inspiring.

Kill Devils Hill at Kitty Hawk

Yeah, Kitty Hawk is a bit out of the way, and that’s why the Wright brothers went there, but if you’re anywhere close,  it’s well worth your time to make the trip.
Oh yeah, were the Wright brothers fighter pilots? Yeah, they were but probably the fighter pilot nerd category, and thank goodness they were.

You know when it came to being a kickass wingman, Orville and Wilbur really took care of each other.  Once they became world famous they had chicks chasing all over the place.  Since neither one of them ever married, it's pretty obvious that they did a good job stiff arming the fortune seekers, charlatans and all sorts of floosies. 

Without a doubt, if Orville and Wilbur were still around they'd be doing their shopping at the FU Store and they'd be wearing one of our newest designs.  You can get it in the Kickass Fighter Pilot Stuff section of the FU Store

FU Store Wingman Needed design


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