Franklin Delano Roosevelt established National Aviation Day in honor of Orville Wright’s birthday in 1939. He encouraged citizens to celebrate with activities that generate an interest in the aviation field—aviation enthusiasts continue to do so every Aug. 19.
Orville was one half of the legendary Wright brothers, who are credited with inventing, building and flying the world’s first working airplane. Its first successful flight was sustained on Dec. 17, 1903, just south of Kitty Hawk, NC.
Though they were not the first to fly experimental aircraft, the brothers fashioned their “flying machine” into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. They invented the aircraft controls that enable fixed-wing powered flight, and developed the three-axis control that allows a pilot to steer an aircraft and maintain its equilibrium. This method remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft to this day.
Orville Wright lived another nine years after the president’s proclamation of the holiday, and was able to look on as the nation celebrated the Wright brother’s achievements. National Aviation Day commemorates the many advancements that have shaped the industry, from the first flight to space travel. What’s exciting, though, is that the aviation industry continues evolve—and at a pace like never before given the speed of technology.
If you attend an aviation maintenance program, or are interested in the field, you are likely already aware of how aviation touches our everyday lives. In an age where jets circle the globe connecting us through travel and commerce, packages arrive almost instantly overnight and the global aerospace community has grown into a multi-trillion dollar industry, there is no better time for innovation and interest in aviation.
Will you heed the call and participate this National Aviation Day? Some ways to celebrate might include: a visit a local science or history museum, watching an aviation-themed movie, building an airplane (even just a model), or telling us about a maintenance or flight experience. Use #NationalAviationDay and #naaedu so we can see how you are celebrating!
NAA will be hosting National Aviation Day celebrations at both campuses so stay tuned for what we have in store.