How Deep is Your Aviation Knowledge?

By Scott Spangler on December 7th, 2015

With the approach of December 17, which every airplane geek holds dear as Kitty Hawk Day, the birthday of powered flight, a brief quiz to probe your aviation knowledge beyond this momentous event.

The questions come from Aviation Trail, a member of Dayton’s National Aviation Historic Alliance. Answering these questions during the Aviation Writers Summit in Dayton earlier this year I was able to answer most of them. But a handful introduced me to new and fascinating aspects of aviation that inspired further study—and appreciation—of aviation’s contributions to the larger world. Enjoy! –Scott Spangler, Editor

1. How many Wright siblings were there who lived to adulthood?

2. What were the careers of the Wright brothers before they started building airplanes?

3. Name the first African-American to have make a living as a writer and why he was significant?

4. How did a rectangular inner tube box inspire Wilber Wright?

5. How many flights took place at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903?

6. How long was the first flight?

7. Where was the Wright Company Flying School, and who was one of its famous graduates?

8. Why did the Wrights chose Kitty Hawk for their glider test site?

9. Where is the original Wright Flyer displayed?

10. Other than the airplane, name five major Dayton inventions (among thousands of all types)?

11. Which Wright brother was from another state, and which one was the first to fly?

Wright "B" Flyer over Huffman Prairie Flying Field.Rich Stepler is pilot in command.Answers

1. Reuchlin, Lorin, Wilbur, Orville, and Katherine

2. Printers and bicycle mechanics

3. Internationally known poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, schoolmate of the Wrights, produced a newspaper printed by the Wrights. His home is part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

4. Wilbur changes its shape by twisting it, which recalled his observations of how birds changed the shape of their wings in flight, and it gave him the idea for wing warping.

5. Four flights for a total of 2 minutes.

6. 12 seconds and 120 feet.

7. Huffman Prairie Flying Field, now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, north of Dayton, near Fairborn. There the Wright Company taught 119 pilots to fly, including General Hap Arnold, the only person to have served as a five-star general in the U.S. Air Force. Other graduates included Calbraith Perry Rodgers and Marjorie and Edward Stinson.

8. Though Chicago had the highest winds, Kitty Hawk was remote, away from prying eyes and the pres. The fall in Kitty Hawk had clear, rain free days, and high winds over the sand dunes.

9. The Wright Flyer is at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The 1905 Wright Flyer III is at Dayton History’s Carillon Historical Park.

10. The electric automobile starter (invented by Charles F. Kettering), the cash register, the freefall parachute, ice cube trays, automotive air bags, pop top cans, air conditioning, refrigerator, the step ladder, motorized wheel chair, the S&H (incentive) Green Stamps, the LCD display, and the mood ring.

11. Wilbur was born in Indiana. Orville won the coin toss that determined who would fly first.

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