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FREEDOM OF FLIGHT                 -2-

aviation history, even these twentieth century warbirds must share attention with another airplane, the long obsolete but not forgotten Jenny biplane. Some spectators smirk at the clumsy early bird and pass on, but in the braces and struts of this rugged pioneer, others see a romantic legend .. man's search for wings .. and somewhere in this colorful, dangerous background .. the key that unlocked the door to the achievements on display tonight.


ANN'CR: At Kittyhawk, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew for the first time in a rigid, self propelled airplane. But the world was not ready to believe aviation more than a circus stunt. So, aided by other men of vision, the Wrights continued to champion their new flying machine. When they asked the War Department to consider the airplane as a military weapon, conservative officials demanded proof. So at Fort Myer, Virginia, the next year, the Wright Brothers arrived with a new airplane, the "Wright Flyer", built especially for their first attempt to meet the almost impossible Army demands. Crowds flocked from nearby Washington to see the machine fly, including the nation's chief executive. Orville Wright asked for an Army passenger to make the flight official. A young balloon flying officer, with his own ideas about airplanes, volunteered. At five in the afternoon, the young officer seated himself on the open wing between Orville Wright and the fragile aircraft's homemade four cylinder engine, ready for the first official Army airplane flight.

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