Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bikes, planes and boys...a day in Dayton, OH

All too soon it came time to pack up our van (again!) and hit the road.  Not too far up the road, thankfully, just long enough to catch a quick nap in the van.  A little groggy, we all stumbled out at our first stop, The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park.  

The interpretive center actually honored the Wright Brothers, whose bike shop was just across the courtyard, and Paul Laurance Dunbar, an African American poet from Dayton. 

Our Junior Ranger wanted another badge, so we got to work on book that went along with the visit.  And let me say, it was hard!!
Not just superficial questions about the Wright family, but about the mechanics of flight.  It was quite interesting

A Dayton resident invented the cash register....

And sewing machine...

and a replica of where the Brothers would have shopped

This guy was rude though, he just wouldn't answer Big Brant's questions!

Henry enjoyed the more hands on displays

Studying how a plane moves

But the favorite for Henry (while Daddy and Brant were working on the ranger book) was the red button that turned on the propeller.  It created quite a nice breeze too!

Upstairs there were some exhibits about parachutes...

and a mock up of the printing shop the brothers ran for awhile.  Brant was interested to see that the printer's drawer on his wall for his Lego figures was actually used for printing!

The final question asked how long the Wright Brothers' first flight was.  The kids had to walk it off along the line in the courtyard, representing the distance of the flight. 

The third badge installed on his hat, we headed to the actual bike shop.  ONE of their bike shops, they had several over time.  But this one was important because it's where they began experimenting with flight. 

The plane was controlled much like a bike, and many bike parts were used in the flyer. 

Ever told someone about "taking a header"?  Well, it came from riding one of these.  Apparently, if you went down a hill too fast, and lost your balance, you would fall off (duh).  But with the placement of the handlebars, legs would get tangled and they would flip head first...aka header!

What big brother does, Henry must do.
 Still a bit of time left in the day, so we headed over to the original destination of the National Air Force Muesuem at Wright-Patterson AFB.  Home to every plane ever flown by the Air Force, it was an impressive and overwhelming collection.  We chose some highlights to see as we were all quickly melting down and hungry.

The main point of the trip was for Big Brant to see the Shoo Shoo Baby.  It was restored in Dover, DE when he was a scout, and Brant remembers seeing it in pieces

The Stealth was fun to see in real life

The HUGE camera that could see a golf ball from 40,000 ft.

Yes...that's an atomic bomb behind him...

Outside we visited the Memorial Gardens, and the Medal of Honor monument.

Tired of sight seeing and just going going going, we headed to an early dinner and made tracks to Lancaster, OH.  Our final leg of vacation would take us to visit family!!

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