October 4, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
A lookalike Wright B Flyer flew from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 2 to re-enact the world’s first cargo flight. It was operated by Wright B Flyer Inc. of Dayton, a company that gives exhibitions.
Silk cloth was carried on the original flight on Nov. 7, 1910. This time tokens of the future were delivered—a piece of carbon fiber cloth and models of unmanned aerial vehicles that will be developed in Dayton.
The aircraft flew from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton to Rickenbacker International Airport near Columbus. Wright B Flyer volunteer pilots Mitch Cary and Richard Stepler, both of the Dayton area, flew the airplane. The original flight was made by Wright Company pilot Phil Parmelee and took off from Huffman Prairie (now a part of Wright-Patterson) to a driving park in Columbus. The original cargo was 200 pounds of silk delivered to a dry goods store. Today’s flight circled over Huffman Prairie and made a refueling stop at Madison County Airport near London, Ohio, before continuing to Rickenbacker and a private reception sponsored by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority and Lane Aviation.
In the autumn of 1910, Max Morehouse, an executive of the Morehouse-Martens Company (which operated the Home Dry Goods Store) in Columbus, approached the Wright Company with an idea to gain publicity for his store and the small Dayton airplane manufacturer. Morehouse followed with interest a Curtiss exhibition flight from Sandusky to Cleveland, a 60-mile jaunt along Lake Erie, and worked with Roy Knabenshue, the manager of the Wright Company’s Exhibition Department, to fly 10 bolts of silk (provided by his company) from the Wright Company’s testing grounds at Huffman Prairie Flying Field to Columbus. Patches of the silk were sold throughout the nation.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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