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Arts & Culture

Ohio, North Carolina Continue Aviation Truce with 'Wright Route' Road Trip

The Wright Flyer in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Courtesy of the National Aviation Heritage Area
The Wright Flyer in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Ohio and North Carolina are partnering again to put their "first in flight" rivalry to rest. Aviation non-profits and tourism officials from both states are launching a summer "Wright Route" road trip campaign.

"Let's get real," says Mackensie Wittmer, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Area headquartered in Dayton. "In 2021, if we're going to travel this summer, it's going to be a road trip, and this is safe and fun and different. And for that aviation enthusiast or that roadtripper who maybe doesn't want to drive the main highway the whole time, this will be perfect for them."

She says the idea is to re-trace the route the Wright brothers took between Dayton and Kitty Hawk for their historic 1903 flight.

"This will be an education and tourism initiative that highlights, I'll call it the 'stops along the way,' " says Wittmer. "How did the Wright brothers get from Dayton to Kitty Hawk, and how can we - because we all need that summer road trip, right? - how can we enjoy that if we go either direction?"

The "Wright Route" will debut in the coming weeks and include stops where the brothers ate, rested and shopped for supplies. There will also be virtual components.

Last December, aviation groups in both states set aside their "first in flight" argument to hold a joint virtual ceremony honoring the Wright brothers' first flight.

Participating in the campaign are the National Aviation Heritage Area, Outer Banks Forever, the First Flight Society, the National Park Service at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and Wright Brothers National Memorial.
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