- They had seemingly settled into respectability as proprietors of a small business. But the Wright brothers of Dayton, Ohio nurtured a barely respectable dream; the possibility of flight. Wilbur, four years older, quiet and intense, a dreamer who could lose himself in books. Orville was outgoing, talkative and an immaculate dresser. Both combined intuitive mechanical ability with analytical intelligence. In 1892 they opened a bicycle shop and prospered, but they were restless, especially Wilbur. Their energies were focused by two events of 1896; the death in a flying accident of Otto Lilienthal, the celebrated experimenter with gliders, and the successful launching of powered models by Samuel Langley. The Wright's serious work in aeronautics began in 1899 when Wilbur wrote the Smithsonian for literature. Dismayed that so many great minds had made so little progress, the brothers were also exhilarated by the realization that they had as much chance as anyone of succeeding. Wilbur took the lead in the early stages of their work, but Orville was soon drawn in as an equal collaborator. They quickly developed their own theories, and for the next four years devoted themselves to the goal of human flight.
Orville Wright was born August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur was born April 16, 1867 in Millville, Indiana.
Recreation - The Memorial offers interpretive exhibits year-round including walking tours, a bookstore, restrooms and telephone. The visitor center, historic trail and restrooms are handicapped accessible.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average above 44 degrees Fahrenheit (above 7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (above 27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging above 52 inches (above 132 centimeters).
In summer the coastal areas tend to be warm, humid and buggy. Wear comfortable sportswear with a hat for the sun and good walking shoes that can take the sand and salt water.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located on North Carolina's Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills. This is about midway between Kitty Hawk and Nags Head on Bypass US 158.