12 Seconds by Phippa Barrett
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In July 2017 we were in the United States fulfilling an wish that as Airline people we have wanted to do for years but never got round to it before. That is, visiting the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk North Carolina where, On Dec 17, 1903, the first flight took place.

We were saying how without the 12 second flight that changed the world forever, we airline folks would not have had a career.

I would urge any airline person to go because it really brings home how close we were to not having a career in the industry and how grateful we should all be for what Wilbur and Orville did for us all.

On 17th December 1903 Orville climbed into the primitive cockpit and lifted the Flyer from the level ground of Kitty Hawk into the air and flew for 12 seconds before landing with a thud 120 feet away.

The Wright brothers made four flights that day, the last one soaring 852 feet and lasting almost one minute, launching the world into the aviation age and launching all our careers.

We were humbled by their tenacity and the extremely difficult conditions they worked  under in order to make it happen.

Here are the photos of the individual flight markers
Flight 1 : 120ft
Flight 1 : 120ft
Flight 2 : 175ft
Flight 2 : 175ft
Flight 3 : 200ft
Flight 3 : 200ft
Flight 4 : 852ft
Flight 4 : 852ft
These flights were amazing.....and you wonder how amazed the Wright Brothers would be to see some of today's technology.

They would marvel at Concorde, now sadly retired, possibly unable to understand why aviation has stepped backwards.

But what would they make of the A380?   

I have put together a couple of graphics to illustrate how ground breaking their achievements were and what they have led us to so far.
An A380 has an 80 metre / 240 ft wingspan, this shows the Wright Flyer's flights against a line up of four A380s
And the Wright Flyer 1 roughly to scale with an A380
I am sure they would be truly amazed at what their first powered flights have led to and that they would also be very proud too

And my thanks to Pippa for kindly sending in her photos and notes
British Caledonian - A Tribute