Armchair photo tours: The Wright Brothers National Memorial on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

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The December 17, 1903 Sculpture, which recalls the moments when Oroville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew their glider for the first time at Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Photos by Cheryl Landes

On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Oroville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew a glider they designed and built. It was the first successful flight of a machine that evolved into an airplane.

Today, the Wright Brothers National Memorial tells the story of this historic event on the site where it happened. Join me today for a walk through the site and the visitor center.

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A marker commemorating Wilbur and Oroville Wright’s success at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. It reads, “They taught us to fly.”

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The Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center

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A model of Wilbur and Oroville Wright’s glider on display inside the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center

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The sewing machine the Wright Brothers used for the fabric on the first glider’s wings, on display inside the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center. Addie M. Tate, who lived at Kitty Hawk, owned this machine. Her family donated it to the visitor center.

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Reconstructed buildings at the Wright Brothers’ camp at the site where they lived while conducting their flight experiments in 1903

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The field where the Wright Brothers took their historic flights

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A full view of the December 17, 1903 Sculpture

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The front view of the December 17, 1903 Sculpture

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A side view of the December 17, 1903 Sculpture

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The flight line and flight borders, which mark the points where each of the first four glider flights landed on December 17, 1903. Each boulder shows the flight length, flight distance, and the name of the pilot.

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The first and second flight boulders. Flight 1 (left) lasted 12 seconds for a length of 120 feet. Oroville Wright was the glider pilot. Flight 2 (right) lasted 12 seconds for a length of about 175 feet, and Wilbur was the pilot.

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The third and fourth flight boulders. Flight 3 (left) lasted 15 seconds for a distance of about 200 feet, and Oroville was the pilot. Flight 4 lasted 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet, and Wilbur was the pilot.

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The walkway across the glider field to the top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers conducted their flight experiments.

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The monument at the top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers conducted their flight experiments.

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