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Thu, Sep 11, 2003

7th Annual Virginia St. EAA Fly-in Looking Good

Our friends up North tell us that the field is looking good for the 7th Annual Virginia State EAA Fly-in. The rain has (finally) stopped and the sod is drying out. Better yet (for the bottom line), a record number of vendors are signed up for the event.

Best Of ALL?

The public will enjoy the treat of seeing an extremely accurate replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and talk to its builder, Rick Young, who is known nationally as an expert on the Wright Brothers. 

With extensive research and experience of building three Wright gliders, Young started building an accurate replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer two years ago. As noted, it will be displayed at the Virginia State EAA Fly-in for the weekend of September 20-21. Then it will return to the Virginia Aviation Museum on long term loan.

He recently displayed this 1903 Flyer replica at Rockefeller Center for three weeks in a special Centennial of Flight exhibit. He has built and flown the 1899 kite, the 1900, 1901 and 1902 gliders.  The 1901 glider prototype reproduction he built, flew in October 1997 for a NOVA documentary in production. The 1902 glider replica Sue and Rick Young built in 1980 and restored it in 1997. This glider was flown in the IMAX film 'On The Wing' and the PBS television program 'The Wright Stuff,' and is currently being used in a NOVA documentary currently in production.

Rick Young, a Richmond area restauranteur, has spent 30 years researching the Wright brothers and their singular accomplishment, the first powered airplane flight on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. With the help of several sponsors, Young and his team of volunteers has built a very accurate replica of that first airplane. He will display it at the 7th Annual Virginia State EAA Fly-in and Air Show September 20-21 at the Dinwiddie County Airport.

Young will attend  the two-day event and answer questions on building the Flyer and the Wright's achievements. Young, who is now considered to be a world authority on the history of the Wright's achievement, will describe the details of the design, testing and building of the world's first powered airplane. 

He has been researching the Wrights since he visited the Wright museum at Kitty Hawk in 1974. There he saw an exhibit of the Wright's 1902 glider which was the precursor of the 1903 Flyer. He decided he wanted to build a replica of the glider, but since no one made a kit he had to figure out exactly how the Wrights did it. 

The visit to Kitty Hawk started a 30-year odyssey through the archives at the Library of Congress and other repositories of Wright family history. He searched the collection at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and other Wright documents as well as interviewed Wright family members. Years of research led to the publication of "The Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright" with co-editor, Peter Jakab which was published by the Smithsonian Press in 2000.

FMI: www.vaeaa.org

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