Aviation pioneers remembered

THE great great niece of aviation pioneers the Wright brothers today revealed that she was "not too keen" on flying as she opened an exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of her ancestors' first historic flight.

THE great great niece of aviation pioneers the Wright brothers today revealed that she was "not too keen" on flying as she opened an exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of her ancestors' first historic flight.

Martha Wright Crouch, 48, of Linton, Cambridgeshire, and her daughter Sarah, 16, were at the aviation branch of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, to celebrate the first manned, powered, controlled flight.

Orville Wright flew the Wright Flyer for 120 feet - 70 feet less than the length of Concorde - in 12 seconds at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA on December 17, 1903.

He and his brother Wilbur ran a bicycle company in Dayton, Ohio, and had worked for years to create an aircraft capable of being powered and controlled.


You may also want to watch:


Their invention changed the course of history and created the aviation industry.

"Talk of Uncle Orv and his brother is part of our family folklore,' said Mrs Wright Crouch, an art historian who was born in the USA.

Most Read

"My Dad was 28 when Uncle Orv died in 1948. So he knew him well and often talked about him.

"One of my aunts, who Sarah has met, actually flew with Orville and remembered it well. I'm so proud to be a Wright and so proud to be here to open this exhibition.

"There will be big celebrations at Kitty Hawk in December. I don't think I'll be able to make it, but my Dad, who is now 82 and lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is hoping to be there.'

She added: "Ironically I'm not too keen on flying myself. It's not a major problem but you worry about crashing.

"However, flying at 30,000 feet in an airliner is very different to the flying the Wright brothers were doing. Actually, one of my cousins was so afraid of flying that she had to be hypnotised.'

The exhibition details the Wright brothers' achievements and traces the development of aviation in the century that followed.

Mrs Wright Crouch said it was ironic that aviators were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wrights' flight in the same year that Concorde - the world's first supersonic passenger airliner - was being grounded.

"It is odd that the anniversary of the first flight should fall in the year that Concorde stops flying,' she added.

"I suppose it's just an accident of history.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus