The Wright brothers knew they needed a place that had lots of wind to test the glider. The area needed to be be flat, without many trees or bushes. The place needed to still be warm when their bicycle shop was closed for the winter. They wanted a place far away from other people so they could keep their experiment a secret. They wrote to Willis L. Moore, Chief of the United States Weather Bureau and got a information on places that had lots of wind. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina seemed to be the best place for them. The dunes there are soft to cushion a hard landing. It was far away from people. It certainly had lots of wind. People still fly kites there today. Wilbur later explained why they selected that spot. He said, "I chose Kitty Hawk because there are neither hills nor trees, so that it offers a safe place for practice. Also the wind there is stronger than any place nearer home and is almost constant."
Alexandra and Sean, two of our students, traveled to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills and brought back these pictures:
I thought it was Kitty Hawk?
After lunch on December 17 the Wright brothers walked the four miles from Kill Devil Hills into Kitty Hawk where there was a telegraph station. When Orville Wright sent that famous Western Union Telegram on December 17 to Bishop M. Wright at 7 Hawthorne Street in Dayton, Ohio the dateline said Kitty Hawk. Ever since then when people think of the Wright Brothers' first flight they think Kitty Hawk, but it was actually Kill Devil Hills.
Copyright © 2003 Terry Hongell - Pocantico Hills School