Birds do it. Bees do it. Even scientific chimpanzees do it. And why? Because back in 1900, Orville and Wilbur Wright decided it was time somebody took to the skies. And those beautiful skies that were so inviting to them were right here in Dayton, Ohio.

Getting their start running a successful bicycle company, the brothers knew that many a man before them dreamed of a machine that could break the oppressive bonds of gravity; which Isaac Newton so thoughtlessly “discovered” nearly 400 years earlier. While the English were clearly content to rest on the laurels of discovering why we were bound to the Earth, American will and resolve made strides to break that bond. And in order to do it, Orville and Wilbur learned from their experience with bicycles what any of us who has learned to ride a bike can attest: balance, and patience, is key.

Sadly for Dayton, there is just not enough regular wind or sand. The Wright brothers chose Kitty Hawk, NC, as the place where they would conduct their experiments with flight. Regular ocean breezes, and plenty of sand for soft crashing was what Kitty Hawk had over Dayton. And, in 1903, the Brothers were successful in getting their Wright Flyer off the ground. The rest, as they say, is history.

Wright Brothers Museum

Wright Brothers Museum

To Dayton, it’s a bit more. The city is proud of its most famous citizens. A visit to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park – free admission – proves that the lasting impression made by these two pioneers of flight is not only above us in the clouds, but also here, in their beginnings, when they were just two men with the same dream others had held for centuries before. But, with some innovation and patience, this dream became a reality.

First Airplane, Wright Flyer III, Dayton Historical Places, History of Flight

Huffman Field

It is here in Huffman Prairiewhere they perfected their (air)craft. Between 1904-1905, over 150 flights were conducted in this field. It is also where the Wright Flyer III, considered the world’s first practical airplane, was tested and perfected.

It is an awe-inspiring experience, to walk in a field where dreams literally took flight.