Everyone recognizes Ohio as home of Wilbur and
Orville Wright, the world’s best known aviation pioneers. The brothers from
Dayton invented the first airplane capable of sustained flight. After those
historic first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they perfected the craft
on the flats of Huffman Prairie near Dayton. Other chapters in Ohio’s aerospace
history, however, often are forgotten. The Wright Brothers inaugurated a
remarkable legacy of dreams and accomplishments. Ohio was first in other kinds
of flight -- birthplace of the helicopter, the parachute, more efficient
propellers, and the wind tunnel. The state’s inventors and aviators helped open
and sustain the space age.
John Glenn and Neil Armstrong were Ohioans. Armstrong’s remarks upon landing on
the moon are infamous:
"That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." But Glenn
and Armstrong were just starters. Ohio populated the U.S. astronaut corps,
producing more astronauts than any other state. Our inventors have helped
safeguard national security, working on new weapons systems at the U. S. Air
Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, the world's biggest facility for military
research and development of aerospace technology.
From the Huffman prairie to the moon and beyond,
Ohioans changed the world and expanded humanity’s horizons by unleashing the
bonds of earth’s gravity.