Celebrate National Aviation Day

Monday, Aug. 19, will be the 74th National Aviation Day in the U.S. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed National Aviation Day would be celebrated each year on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday. Wright and his brother Wilbur, the Fathers of Modern Aviation, made that famous first flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. The brothers likely had no idea how big an impact their invention would have on the world.

Aviation is a vital part of the economy in the United States. The industry supplies jobs in its own right, but it also is a key role in the movement of other businesses and industries.  Just look at some numbers from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation 2011 Report:

  • 793 million people moved through U.S. airspace
  • $562.1 billion worth of freight shipped around the world.
  • 2 million jobs related to aviation industry
  • contributed more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy

After their first successful flight, the Wright brothers began filling contracts for airplanes in Europe and the United States. Much of their business was based on government contracts, which they courted in the early years of their plane development. Orville took over the family business when his brother died in 1912. More interested in the research and development of aircraft than the business side of the operation, Orville sold the company by 1915.

Thanks to the Wright brothers and other early aviation pioneers, we have safe, reliable, and nearly-always available air travel. Take time this year to celebrate aviation in the U.S. Many aviation museums are offering discounted admission to special programs throughout the weekend. You’ll be able to learn more about the history and the men and women who have been integral in the development of modern aviation.

Did you like this? Share it!