Part of Wright Brothers Aircraft To Fly On Mars
Here's something I bet you didn't know about the current NASA mission to Mars. Part of the Wright Brothers' first aircraft is going along for the ride.
NASA recently published a press release telling us that part of the wing fabric from Flyer 1, the first Wright Brothers glider that actually flew, is being used as part of the small helicopter NASA plans to fly on the red planet later this month.
It's not the first time that NASA has utilized bits and pieces of aviation history, they took another piece of cloth and a piece of wood from Flyer 1 on the Apollo 11 mission.
Here in Wichita Falls, we're no strangers to aviation history. Before there was Sheppard Air Force Base there was the Army Air Corp's Call Field, and the city actually owns a WW1 Jenny aircraft like those that pilots were trained in during the early days of aviation.
Our Jenny was moved ... OK, it was actually FLOWN ... from its previous location at Kickapoo Airport to the new Wichita Falls Regional Airport back in 2014 and I had the honor of being there with my camera. It's a very rare thing to be buzzed by a WW1 era Jenny in the 21st century.
That was our Jenny's final flight, but not its final mission. You can visit it almost any time at the Jenny To Jet Exhibit on permanent display at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport.
The exhibit is maintained by the Museum of North Texas History and chronicles the history of Sheppard Air Force Base and military aviation taking you on a journey from Jenny to Jet.
It's nice to know that NASA and Wichita Falls both have a love for aviation history.
The NASA Ingenuity helicopter should be flying over Mars sometime in the next few weeks.