TAKE TO THE SKIES
How Two Boys From Ohio Changed the World
It’s been a long year. The Stuckey family has been through some ups and downs, and I’m grateful to be approaching the holiday season. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with the family. These days, families can be spread out all over the world. Most of my own family is out of state, so unfortunately, I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to. However, our eldest son, Matt, and his wife, Anne, will be flying in from Atlanta for Christmas this year! Melody and I are so excited to have them this year. Taking a flight during the holidays can drain the holly-jolly spirit right out of you, so we tend to forget what a miracle air travel truly is. Recently, I was thinking about how that modern miracle was made possible by the tireless work of two boys from Ohio. On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first flight in a self-propelled, engine- powered aircraft near the small town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 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 in air for 39 minutes and maneuvered more easily. Then, in 1908, they made their first public flight in France. Having grown up in the Dayton area, where Orville Wright himself was born, I’ve always been fascinated by the history of the Wright brothers. The accomplishments of these two brothers opened up an entirely new way of traveling. 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 accomplishments of these two brothers opened up an entirely new way of traveling.” The Wright brothers’ miraculous achievements changed the world, though what we’ve done with that achievement is less than thrilling. Is there any place more uncomfortable than the middle seat on an airplane? Sometimes it’s unavoidable, so if you’re planning to take
advantage of the Wright brothers’ legacy this holiday season, I have some tips to help make the ride a little less painful. Thousands of people flock to airports all around the globe this time of year. 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, like wheelchair assistance or car seat installation. If your kids have never flown before, talk to them 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. Today, people rely on airplanes to explore new cultures and countries and to bring them home to their families. At one point, moving hundreds of miles from home meant never seeing your family again. Now, we only have to decide which airline to use and purchase tickets in time for the holidays.
If you are traveling this year, I wish you safe trips and happy holidays!
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