Aviation & Aerospace

From Wright Brothers to the Moon

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. 

Space pioneers 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.

ohio aviation history