Wright brothers testing kite glider at Kitty Hawk

Did you know Orville and Wilbur Wright routinely “commuted” hundreds of miles just to fly?

What a time we live in: many of us are fortunate to live within an hour of an airport from which we can fly virtually anywhere—sometimes nonstop! The Wright brothers helped make this world possible.

When the Wright brothers were beginning to fly, automobiles were still outnumbered by horses and bicycles, and many of their flight experiments were conducted in North Carolina. A “road trip” from Dayton, OH to Kitty Hawk, NC was no easy matter. A quick check of the map in the computer reveals the trip is roughly 680 miles. But of course, Orville and Wilbur would not be using interstates, as the GPS suggests. America in those days was not planes, trains, and automobiles but rather canal boats, boats, and trains. Depending on where you were starting and where you were going and the proximity of each to water you could be switching back and forth several times!

In September of 1900 Orville Wright began one of his many trips to Kitty Hawk. Imagine, covering over 700 miles one way—just to try to fly! A few years ago there was an air carrier whose slogan was, “We love to fly, and it shows!” Well, maybe. However, what about guys who went over 700 miles one way on a combination of boats and trains in 1900 to try to fly? Now, they loved to fly!

Next time you are lamenting your commute to the airport, think of the 700 miles Orville logged before his short flights at Kitty Hawk. And when you’re planning that next trip, remember us. Our luggage, sunglasses, and flight jackets are travel essentials wherever you go next to Invent yourself!

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