Summer is almost here and we have a lot to look forward to! Before you take in all that we have packed into this edition of the Fly-ND Quarterly, let’s take a minute to ponder a few iconic moments, both recent and some time ago, that will forever be linked in aerospace history.
On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, NC, the Wright brothers logged the first powered, controlled flight.Now, fast forward to February 19, 2021. This is the day that NASA’s rover called Perseverance landed at the Jezero Crater of Mars, carrying a helicopter called Ingenuity.
Two months later, on April 19, 2021, Ingenuity took to the skies of Mars, as did the Wright Flyer. Carrying a tiny piece of fabric from the original Wright Flyer aircraft, Ingenuity successfully completed the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft on another planet. The flight lasted 39.1 seconds and consisted of a vertical takeoff, climbing ten feet above ground, hovering briefly, completing a turn, and then landing.
While the Wright brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk and Ingenuity’s first flight on Mars may be separated by 117 years and 173 million miles of space, they will always be uniquely connected.
As an homage to the Wright brothers, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) designated the airfield on Mars as Wright Brothers Field, with the official International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) designator IGY, call-sign INGENUITY.
I hope this incredible achievement prompts you to reach out to the next generation of aviators and connect them with a world full of opportunity. Our Fly-ND Career Expo at the Fargo Air Museum on May 14, 2021, and the Fargo AirSho on July 24-25, 2021, would be great opportunities for students to discover their own inspiration and pathway to a career in aviation.
As chairman of the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA), it has been an honor to lead the organization for the past few years.
Your membership, whether an individual or an allied company looking to better connect and serve the aerospace industry in North Dakota, helps us to achieve our mission to promote and grow aviation throughout the state.
If you or your company are not a member, consider joining our mission.
Blue Skies! Darren
P.S. Thank you to Elayna Hall at EAA HQ for sharing the Wright Brothers/Ingenuity connection.
To learn more about Ingenuity, visit: https://astronomy.com/news/2021/04/fabric-from-the-original-wright-flyer-takes-flight-on-mars
Darren Hall, Chairman
North Dakota Aviation Associaton