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Celebrate Centennial Of Flight With EAA AirVenture Museum's Exciting Week Of Activities

December 11, 2003 - The EAA AirVenture Museum is celebrating the centennial of powered flight in grand style December 13-20, with a full week of activities to inspire and entertain aviation enthusiasts of all ages. Highlighting the week’s events will be a live showing, via satellite, of the re-creation of the Wright brothers’ first flight from Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 17. This flight, in an exact reproduction of the Wrights’ 1903 Flyer, is the centerpiece of EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk celebration, sponsored by Ford Motor Company. On the evening of Dec. 17, renowned test pilot Dick Rutan will be the featured speaker at a banquet hosted by EAA that commemorates the Wrights’ 12-second flight that changed the world.

During the EAA AirVenture Museum’s celebration visitors can also: pilot Microsoft’s Wright Flyer simulator in 1903 cockpit cradles developed by EAA and used on Microsoft’s and Countdown to Kitty Hawk’s national tours; enjoy theatrical productions and movies focusing on flight; participate in a number of hands-on aviation activities; and even send a piece of air mail through a temporary, official cancellation station of the U.S. Postal Service at the museum.

“This week is a once-in-a-lifetime event for flight enthusiasts, because the invention of powered flight forever changed how we live,” said Adam Smith, EAA AirVenture Museum Director. “EAA is the center of personal flight for millions of people around the world, so it is fitting that we put together a very special week of celebration here in Oshkosh, along with our highly anticipated activities in Kitty Hawk.”

Specific activities at the museum during the week include:

  • Fly the Microsoft Wright Flyer simulator, with software and visuals that re-create the setting in Kitty Hawk, N.C.;
  • Enjoy special presentations around EAA’s full-size Wright Flyer replica that has been a feature of the museum for the past 20 years;
  • See a exclusive theatrical production, titled “What’s Wright with Flight,” presented several times each day;
  • Movies such as “The Wright Brothers’ Journey of Invention,” “Charlie Brown and the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk” and “EAA AirVenture 2003”;
  • Participate in a stamp scavenger hunt at locations throughout the museum;
  • Make an actual aircraft wing rib;
  • Send air mail with a commemorative cancellation by the Oshkosh Post Office station in the museum. 

More than 2,000 Wisconsin schoolchildren will also participate in EAA’s activities during the week, as EAA’s program for the flight centennial has become a popular field trip destination.

On Dec. 17, a satellite feed will provide live coverage of the re-creation of the 1903 Wright Flyer flight at Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk. The flight of EAA’s Wright Flyer reproduction is scheduled to take place at 9:35 a.m. (CST) - 100 years to the minute from the original flight. It is anticipated that President Bush will attend this historic event.

Watch C-SPAN either online or on TV for live coverage from the First Flight
Centennial Celebration on Dec. 17.

NASA-TV also expects to carry the event live on its station and on the Web.
CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Canadian TV also are expected to provide some coverage of the festivities.

On the evening of Dec. 17, more than 300 people will attend the banquet celebrating the flight centennial. Rutan, the main speaker, is best known as the pilot of the Voyager, which in 1986 became the only aircraft to circle the globe non-stop on a single tank of fuel. Rutan also has a colorful history as a military and test pilot. During the evening, video greetings from aviation personalities attending the Countdown to Kitty Hawk events will be shown. 

Accredited by the American Association of Museums
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