Sarah Keegan Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1902) RELEASE: 02-08

Jan. 11, 2002

U.S. CENTENNIAL OF FLIGHT COMMISSION AND THE WRIGHT EXPERIENCE FORM ALLIANCE The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission and The Wright Experience of Warrenton, Va., have entered into a memorandum of agreement that will allow them to jointly promote the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight in 2003. The Wright Experience, which is building an exact reproduction of the Wrights' 1903 Wright Flyer, will receive national outreach support from the Commission as a result of the agreement. In turn, The Wright Experience will help promote the national outreach campaign, "Centennial of Flight: Born of Dreams -- Inspired by Freedom." Ken Hyde, executive director of The Wright Experience, and his team of Wright devotees are working to rediscover the experimentation and methodology of the Wrights' pursuit of flight. The task is particularly difficult because the Wrights left very little documentation of their work in an effort to hide their secrets and expertise from imitators. "Today we see the magnificent evolution of the Wrights' original efforts," Hyde said. "Our quest is to discover how the first steps were made -- steps that are lost in history. We are confident that we will retrace those steps and finish the first century of flight as it began, by flying over the sands of Kitty Hawk. It will be an amazing end to a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of both the realization of dreams and the freedom of flight." The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission was created by Congress to coordinate and publicize the activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of powered flight. The Wright Experience's 2003 Wright Flyer will be an important part of the national celebration, which consists of a range of events, activities and educational components. The Wright Experience has contracted with the Experimental

Aircraft Association (EAA) to build the reproduction Flyer, known as the 2003 Wright Flyer, which will be flown at the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kitty Hawk, N.C., at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2003, exactly 100 years after the Wrights' first flight. Prior to that date, the 2003 Wright Flyer will tour the country as part of the EAA's centennial celebration, "Countdown to Kitty Hawk presented by Ford Motor Company." "The 2003 Wright Flyer is an important educational tool because it is so historically accurate," Commission Chairman Gen. J. R. ("Jack") Dailey said. "The task Ken has undertaken to reproduce the airships of the Wright brothers requires tremendous dedication and innovation. The excitement and anticipation that will stem from watching the 2003 Wright Flyer lift off the sands of Kitty Hawk will be a fitting climax to the centennial celebration." A complete listing of Centennial events and more information on the Centennial of Flight Commission can be found at: More information also is available from Christian Markow, U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, at 804/675-8153. Additional information on The Wright Experience can be found at: More information also is available from Mike McCall, The Wright Experience, at 540/955-2100. -end-