Huffman Prairie

Huffman Prairie (HMJOD)

Location: Dayton, OH 45402 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 46.093', W 84° 11.205'

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1904 - 1905

— (Inventing Flight: The Centennial Celebration Series #6) —

The hawk which now takes his flight over the top of the wood was at first, perchance, only a leaf which fluttered in its aisles. -Henry David Thoreau

After their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wright brothers could no longer afford extended stays so far from home. They needed an isolated field close by. Huffman Prairie was a hundred-acre pasture seven miles east of Dayton - a quick trip on the interurban railway. The soggy ground was riddled with grassy hummocks, the wind was stifled by surrounding trees, and space was tight, but it would do. Torrence Huffman gave the brothers permission to use the field as long as they shooed away his cattle before take-off.

The brothers began flying at Huffman Prairie in the spring of 1904. Most flights were short, however, and the plane undulated out of control. Though they flew 105 flights that year, they logged less than 50 minutes in the air. The 1905 flying season began much like 1904, with erratic flying and crash landings. After Orville survived a particularly frightening crash in mid-July, the brothers made changes. They incorporated all they had learned and some educated guesses into a new plane.

The improvement showed immediately. Debuting in late August, the Wright Flyer III consistently flew multiple circles over the prairie. Accidents were rare. Often, the brothers landed only when the plane ran out of gas. By the end of the year, their airplane was sound and reliable, a practical flying machine. In two short seasons, the Wright Brothers had taken powered flight from erratic puddle-jumping to sustained, graceful soaring over Huffman Prairie.
Year Placed2003
Placed ByInventing Flight and Dayton Power & Light Company Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:49am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 740965 N 4405817
Decimal Degrees39.76821667, -84.18675000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 46.093', W 84° 11.205'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 46' 5.58" N, 84° 11' 12.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)937
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1125 Great Miami River Recreational Trail, Dayton OH 45402, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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