Located in the south west corner of Ohio, an hour’s drive from Cincinnati to the south and the state’s capital city, Columbus, to the north, sits Dayton, Ohio – a city best known for two brothers who owned a bicycle shop and changed the world. Take a look at our guide to Dayton aviation for a dose of aeroplane history.
The Wright Brothers developed practical flight by extending their knowledge of aerodynamics honed while designing and building bicycles in their shop in Dayton. They built prototype after prototype, learning from each failure until their Wright Flyer finally soared to success. Thanks to the National Parks Service, visitors to Dayton have the best opportunity to experience this fascinating chapter of aeroplane history in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park – a five-unit park located in and around the Greater Dayton Area. The locations of the park include the Wright Cycle Company Complex, consisting of The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum and The Wright Cycle Company; The Paul Laurence Dunbar House; Dayton History at Carillon Park; Hawthorn Hill; the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center.
For those interested in learning even more about the history of aviation, the National Museum of the United States Air Force invites visitors from all over the world to view aircraft and spacecraft from every generation right up to the present day, as well as catch a glimpse into the future of aviation. (Note: some parts of the museum are only accessible to those with a valid, United States government-issued photo ID or an original passport for foreign visitors.)
What better way to wrap up a trip to Dayton than to experience flying for yourself? Try skydiving with Dayton Skydiving, or if you’ll be in the area for a while, flex your wings and take some flying lessons at Moraine Airpark.
Let Dayton’s aviation heritage and innovative spirit inspire you!
Header image: 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show, Wright B Flyer replica © Flickr/Ken Mist
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Have you visited the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park? Are you interested in aeroplane history? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Written by Lauren Rinehart