Wright Brothers

National Memorial

About the Park

The Wright Brothers National Monument preserves the site of the first flights of the Wright Brothers in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

Key activities:

  • Visitor Center. The visitor center and museum tells the Wright story and can be viewed in under an hour. 

  • The Shelters and Flight Markers. Behind the visitor center, you can see the Wright's shelters and four stone markers that designate the landing spot of each of the first four flights.

  • The Monument. About a half mile south of the visitor center, the Wright Brothers monument stands at the top of the hill. You can walk or drive over to it. On the other side of the hill, you can see a full scale steel-sculpture of the first flight.

 

Wright Brothers NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • Many people of the time believed that human flight was impossible, but the Wright Brothers' observations of nature combined with their mathematical calculations convinced them it could be done. What else do you think might be possible that few believe is possible today?

  • Building the airplane that would eventually make the first flight took years of experimentation, calculations and trial and error. At times they became discouraged, but they kept working anyway. Have you been discouraged by something difficult you were trying to do? How can you overcome the discouragement to keep trying
     

  • The Wright Brothers weren't the only ones trying to fly at this time. Some well-funded ventures were trying to do it as well. David McCullough notes that the Wrights were not deterred by the fact that they "had no college education, no formal technical training, no experience working with anyone other than themselves, no friends in high places, no financial backers, no government subsidies, and little money of their own. Or the entirely real possibility that at some point, like Otto Lilienthal, they could be killed." Have you ever convinced yourself that you can't do something because you didn't immediately know how? What kinds of things are possible if you put in the work involved in learning something for yourself? 

Maps

Wright Brother National Memorial map