|Wright Brothers National Memorial and
Fort Pulaski National Monument
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Wright Brothers National Memorial located at 1000 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 27948. It is at
mile post 7.5 on U.S. Highway 158, in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks (off-shore long barrier islands) of North
Wright Brothers National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is the birthplace of modern
aviation. It is a powerful symbol of American innovations that changed the whole world. Human being has been
admiring birds flying in the air and longing for such flight capability for many many years. After 4 years of
experimentation and hard work, these two ingenious brothers brought such human dream into reality on
December 17, 1903 with their successful world’s first heavier than air, powered and controlled flight at this
location (實現了人類欲凌空飛上藍天遨翔碧空的夢想). It is at this location where Wright brothers taught the
world to Fly!
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Wright Brothers National Memorial
On our driving trip from New Jersey going south to tour Florida in January 2014, we stopped and visited
several Points of Interest (POIs) along the way. We visited Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills
on Outer Banks of North Carolina along the way on January 3, 2014. Many visitors come here to pay tribute to
the birthplace of aviation honoring aviation's past, present, and exciting future.
The name Kill Devil Hills for the sand dunes here dates back to the Colonial era. Shipwrecks were common at
the time, and many of the ships were transporting barrels of rum (alcoholic beverage). When a ship foundered,
local wreckers would scavenge what they could of the ship's cargo before it sank, hiding their pilfered rum
behind, and sometimes in the same large sand dunes here. Since rum was called "Kill Devil" by the English at
the time, the sand dunes here became known as "Kill Devil Hills".
Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wright brothers from Dayton Ohio to Kill Devil Hills on Outer Banks
to conduct their 4-year extensive series of experiments resulting in world’s first successful heavier than air,
powered and controlled flight. They also valued the privacy provided by this location, which in the early
twentieth century was remote from major population centers. What they achieved here changed our world
When you walk up to the monument on top of the 90-foot Kill Devil Hills, you can enjoy the spectacular views of
Atlantic Ocean and Albernarle Sound, and feel the breeze of why the Wright brothers chose this location for
their extensive 4-year flight experiments. Inscribed in capital letters along the base of the memorial tower is the
phrase "In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by
genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith."
Wright Brothers Visitor Center is home to a museum featuring models, actual tools and machines used by the
Wright brothers during their extensive flight experiments including a full-scale reproduction of the 1903 flying
machine which is the first powered aircraft in history to achieve controlled flight, a full-scale reproduction of the
1902 glider in their experiments, an engine block from the original 1903 Flyer, and a reproduction of the
Wright's first wind tunnel.
The wind tunnel devised and built in the fall of 1901 by Wright brothers. They used this wind tunnel to test the
vertical lift capability of 200 wing surfaces of different shapes and thickness. This was the first practical use of
wind tunnel experimental data in the design of an airplane. The Wright brothers used such wind tunnel data in
designing their successful 1902 glider and 1903 flyer.
They made about 1,000 glide flights in experiments on the Kill Devil Hills. With their glider, the Wright Brothers
perfected a combined warp rudder control that become the key to successful controlled flight. Their story is the
realization of human dream that had existed for centuries.
Portraits of Wright brothers on display in the visitor Center.
A full-scale reproduction of the 1903 flying machine on display in the Visitor Center.
A full-scale reproduction of the 1902 glider on display in the Visitor Center.
Centennial Pavilion constructed in 2003 with more exhibits to celebrate a century of flight. (This picture was
taken from inside the visitor center through a large glass window with some reflections of exhibits inside the
From Wright Brothers National Memorial we drove south along Highway 12 on Outer Banks to visit Pea Island
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
Many winter waterfowl in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Zoom in for closer view of many waterfowl in Pea Island NWR.
The weather on January 3 was very cold with powerful wind because a powerful cold front was moving through
eastern seaboard of USA. The Atlantic Ocean along the Outer Banks of North Carolina was very rough with
powerful waves on that day.
We continued driving south along Highway 12 on Outer Banks into Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Even with
such rough sea and strong wind, we saw many gannets flying and diving from mid-air down into the water to
catch fish along the beach near Cape Hatteras. This picture is taken by May Lee.
There were also many white colored birds floating and bobbing up and down on the surface of the rough sea.
We were not sure if these birds on water surface were gannets or seagulls. This picture is taken by May Lee.
On calm days and if there is a large school of bait fish in the ocean, the lucky visitors to Cape Hatteras
National Seashore, Avon and Hatteras Island on Outer Banks may see the spectacular feeding frenzy of huge
number of gannets dive bombing from mid air down into the ocean as shown on the following YouTube website:
We saw such spectacular feeding frenzy of huge number of gannets when we visited Bonaventure Island in the
Province of Quebec in eastern Canada as shown on my web page at:
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Due to the very cold, strong gusty wind and very rough sea, all the Ferry Services between Outer Banks and
mainland North Carolina were shut down on January 3. Therefore, we missed the opportunity to enjoy the
serene and beautiful two-and-half-hour ferry ride from Outer Banks back to mainland North Carolina. There
might be good opportunities for wildlife watching of birds, dolphins, etc. along such ferry ride.
In the following day of January 4, 2014, we continued driving south and toured Magnolia Plantation and
Gardens in South Carolina as shown on my web page at:
On the following day of January 5, 2014, we continued driving south and toured Savannah National Wildlife
Refuge (NWR) in southeast part of South Carolina and the nearby Fort Pulaski National Monument in east
coast of Georgia as described in the following:
Some shore birds.
Zoom in for closer view of American Coots. We drove along the 4-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive for wildlife
watching in this NWR.
Several big trees with beautiful draperies of Spanish Moss along the Wildlife Drive in Savannah NWR.
One of several Moorhens seen in this NWR.
An American Kestrel.
A female Anhinga.
Some winter waterfowl. ( I am nor sure if they are bufflehead or Ringnecked ducks)
As a result of the War of 1812 (between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain
), the United States embarked on an ambitious national defense program. In those early years of United
States, Savannah was then the most important port and chief city in Georgia. Fort Pulaski was built to protect
US coast, especially, Savannah, against invasion by European navy.
Fort Pulaski was named in honor of Count Casimir Pulaski who is a Polish nobleman. Pulaski is a true military
talent, fighting in many battles across the European continent. By 1776, Pulaski learned of America's struggle
for independence and offered his services to the American cause. Pulaski arrived in Boston in July 1777.
Pulaski would serve next to George Washington who appreciated Pulaski's vast military experience. He is the
man who provided the American colonists with their first true legion on horseback, cementing his place as "The
Father of the American Cavalry." He was mortally wounded while helping American forces battle for control of
Savannah, Georgia in 1779.
In the United States, numerous streets, bridges, counties, and towns are named for him in honor of his aid to
American forces. In northeastern New Jersey, we have Pulaski Skyway named in honor of Casimir Pulaski.
When the Pulaski Skyway opened in 1932, it was one of the first controlled-access highways or
"super-highways" in the United States, to provide a connection to the Holland Tunnel.
Destined to be one of the most illustrious graduates of West Point, Robert E. Lee, then a young Virginian
awaited assignment in the mid-summer of 1829 to his first tour of duty in the Army. Robert E. Lee worked as a
member of the United States Army Corps of Engineers upon graduation from West Point, and was instrumental
in planning, preparing, design and the construction of this fortress on Cockspur Island. This location has been
important since the founding of the Colony of Georgia, due to its location just inside the mouth of the Savannah
Fort Pulaski National Monument itself is a large-scale outdoor exhibit. The main structure, together with
outlying works including demilune, drawbridges, ditches, and dikes, is a fine example of historic military
Demonstration of a musket being prepared and fired.
Many white ibises feeding on the lawn in Fort Pulaski.
One of many terns flying near the white bridge over South Channel Savannah River between the Entrance
Station and Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island.
After touring Fort Pulaski in Georgia, we drove south into Florida to start our multiple day 2014 Florida
Winter Wildlife Watching Tour. Part 1 of our 2014 Florida Winter Wildlife Watching Tour is at:
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at: