Boston Brick & Stone - December 2019

THE MASONRY MONTHLY

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Families often travel hundreds of miles to be together during the holidays, and many people fly to their destinations. This fast, easy, and safe way to travel has carried thousands of people across the skies for the holidays thanks to the tireless efforts of two brothers who made the first recorded aircraft flight over 100 years ago. On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first flight in a self- propelled, engine-powered aircraft near a small town called Kitty Hawk. Orville piloted this 12-second flight when the aircraft flew 120 feet before coming back to the ground. Orville and Wilbur traded off as they tested their first airplane, making three more flights that day. Wilbur, who piloted the last test, kept the plane in the air for 59 seconds and covered 852 feet. The Wright brothers spent the following years discreetly perfecting their aircraft. Their secrecy allowed them to obtain the patents and contracts they needed to improve their aircrafts and continue testing. A couple years after their first flight, they designed a plane that stayed aloft for 39 minutes and maneuvered more easily in the air. Then, in 1908, they made their first public flight in France. The accomplishments of these two brothers opened up an entirely new way of travel. Not only did they prove that air travel was possible but also that planes could be the most efficient way to travel over long distances. Through their efforts, traveling around the world became even more feasible. THE FIRST FLIGHT

WHAT THE WRIGHT BROTHERS MADE POSSIBLE

able to see a family member if they move hundreds of miles away anymore. Instead, they only have to decide which airline to use and purchase tickets in time for the holidays. If you’re planning to take advantage of the Wright brothers’ legacy this holiday season, keep a few important things in mind. Since the airplane has become a significant part of holiday travel, thousands of people flock to airports all around the globe. Planning for this busy time and making proper adjustments are crucial to ensure the crowds don’t hinder your travel. Make sure to arrive early and keep an eye out for any updates to your flight. If you’re planning to travel with children or you’re a senior flyer, it’s important to make the airline aware of any special accommodations you may need for boarding (like wheelchair assistance or car seat installation) and for landing. Consider bringing quiet entertainment to keep kids occupied and talk to your kids about what to expect during the trip. This will help them visualize what’s ahead of them, and, rather than be uncomfortable or anxious, they will be excited and eager for the adventure. Your holiday flight can be a great learning opportunity for them, too. Teach your kids about the efforts of the Wright brothers and how their invention made it possible for families — like yours — to celebrate the holidays together more easily.

-Dave Laverdiere

Today, people rely on airplanes to explore new cultures and countries and to bring them home to their families. No one worries about whether they’ll be

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