Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Wright way to Flight :)

I know its been more than 10 days since I last blogged. Its not like I don't have topics to blog about. But was involved in some exit formalities and sending good-bye mails and all that. Its almost like I'm re-living the days I left Bangalore for US. I really thought then that one day I'd go back to that office and work with all those people again. Then I didn't expect it to work out and it did. Now I didn't expect it to end and it did. Isn't it ironic!

Anyways, I'm feeling mostly ok now, despite yesterday being my last day. And I don't really want to wallow in it anymore. Maybe will crib about H1 someday but not now. Today's post will be on a trip we took on 24th Dec 2006 to Dayton, Ohio, the "Birthplace of aviation" (this is the slogan on the Ohio state licence plates, Kentucky's is "Unbridled Spirit" as it is famous for horses :-D). Why is it the birth place of aviation? Because the Wright brothers (Wilbur and Orville Wright) were born there and made their plans and constructed their aircraft in their bicycle shop on Dayton's West Side.

I have decided that from now on I'll add a short google map indication of the drive we do, so here's my first one :).

Whats surprising is that Dayton is only about 2 hours away from Lexington and it took us 1.5 years to realize that :-D. So, when we did, without further delay, we headed there early Sunday morning. This was not really a long drive, but it was the first time we were going this far in our new SUV. The journey was not a problem at all. One of the first places we visited was a museum, but sadly it was closed on account of Christmas eve :-p. Worried that this would be the case everywhere, we headed to another museum which was situated exactly where the Wright brothers had their cycle shop befoe they ventured into flying. Thankfully that was open :).

Its nice that they have preserved the shop and the roads around it as they were in the start of 1900's. This is the museum:

They had very intresting displays about Wilbur and Orville Wright and their interest in flying since their childhood. Wikipedia has lots of details on them.

The most interesting of them all was a movie they showed us. It showed how they were always were interested in flying as children and later how they actually made plans without actually having studied engineering and basing everything on practical experiments. They first travelled to Kitty Hawk, North carolina and started their initial experiments there (which is why North carolina's slogan is "First in Flight" :-D. Competition anyone? ;-) :-D. The next trip we went was to Kitty Hawk, will be writing about that in the next post :-D). After some time in North Carolina, they returned to Dayton and located a field called the Huffman Prairie (preserved as a tourist spot till date, as usual here in US :-D), took permission from the field's owner and continued their experiments there. What first was a kite, slowly became a glider and then a glider with its own power. And they had success in Dayton in 1905 where the glider they built flew for almost 40 minutes in the air and totally about 24 miles :).

What I admire most is the sheer audacity of the brothers. They didn't know that they could fly, but with no regard to any danger, they flew in their fledgling flights. There were a couple of accidents too, but that only made them change the design and rebuild the plane. The town people called them "mad", yet they went on. But its due to their efforts, that we have such a comfortable flying system today. We fly tens of thousands of miles to cross countries, sleeping or even having food. People have even flown to space, to moon! Just think, we might not have any of this, had it not been for 2 "mad" guys :)).

Our next stop was the National Museum of United States Air Force.

They have converted what was earlier an Air force base into this huggggggge museum. Three hangars full of planes starting with a model of the Wright brothers' original plane..

The first hangar was all full of oldest planes. The second hangar had the world war 1 & 2 planes, the Vietnam war planes and the Korean war planes. They even had the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima!! It was kind of shocking to see that the Wright brothers' path to fly later went on to cause such a destruction..

And below is the model of the bomb that was dropped:

The last hangar had all the latest planes including the B2 - stealth bomber! It was really fascinating to see and even touch such an incredible invention :).

It looks like an UFO right? There was another last section which showcased the missiles. The whole experience was beautiful, yet kind of sad. The planes are good, yet bad in some ways. The museum captured the spirit of flight, not really differentiating between the bad and the good. And so many planes under a single roof boggles the mind :).

Lastly, though it was a bit dark already, we went to the Huffman prairie, where the brothers first flew a successful flight after much experimentation. Here's the field:

The planes then were powered by a catapult mechanism that looked like this:

The picture is dark as the sun had already set. And so we headed home. But the very next weekend we headed to Kitty Hawk to see the other part of Wright brothers' lives. More about that in the next post :).


Thanu retorted...

enjoy ur break and don't think abt H1 for while...

Harish Suryanarayana retorted...

Hi ! How are you ? :)

Deeps retorted...

Thanu, hmm, maybe I'll take your advise and have a gala being a couch potato. Very tempting :).

Harish, hello :). I'm still getting over the fact that I'm not working anymore :-\. How about you?

Orchid retorted...

I am pretty sure I left a comment here y'day!!!?!! ANyway, sorry if it still waiting to be moderated...relax, enjoy your break, take more road trips and ofcourse blog more. As far the post itself.....had I read this last yr I would have definitely stopped in Dayton, we were in Columbus visiting family..maybe next time.

Chickoo retorted...

I came across your blog recently and enjoyed reading your posts. Don't worry, atleast you got to work for 1.5 years without a hitch, when I came here I ended up working for a fradulent Indian company which made me work for 6 months without pay and they said they would pay me after I get my H1 till then it is voluntary, in the end they ended up not doing my H1 and also didnt pay me a cent for working for 6 months, BTW the company name is Concio corporation. I did my Masters and now I am in a good job with a good pay. So dont worry at all, relax and enjoy your time with your husband. I am sure a bright girl like you will surely go places. Good luck!

Deeps retorted...

Orchid, Uhh, I haven't enabled comment moderation and didn't get your earlier comment (if any :-p). Anyways, there isn't too much in Dayton except these museums and the National Airforce museum is definitely worth a visit :).

Chickoo, Hmmm very sad. I have gotten several mails from these desi comapnies and thanks to my hubby's wonderful guidance, didn't apply to a single one. Will be writing more on it sometime. Thanks for the kind words :).

Orchid retorted...

Hey Deepthi,
Not sure if you do tags but I have tagged you and hope you don't mind...please go to my blog for more details. Appreciate your effort in advance.

starry nights retorted...

Just stopped by from Orchid's Blog to say hello.You have a nice blog and I love the duckie layout.

Rajesh Dangi retorted...

nice post, like the FAT MAN!