This is a life-sized sculpture done in bronze and stainless steel by artist Stephen H. Smith. It was dedicated on the centennial of the December 17, 1903 flight. It is based upon a photo taken at that moment by John Daniels of the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station.
I purposely took this picture with the two women in it for scale,
and show how miserable of a day it was.
That is Wilbur running alongside.
Photographer John Daniels had never operated a camera before
and was instructed by Wilbur when to snap the shutter.
Mr. Daniels point of view.
Besides Daniels four other local residents witnessed the flight. Two were from the Life Saving Station and the other two were a man and young boy. I missed getting the young boy. He was standing at the end of the monorail to the right.
After the fourth flight that day the brothers were so confident that they decided after lunch they would fly the plane the four miles up to the Kitty Hawk Weather station where the telegraph office was.
Why not? "We might as well use the rest of the three pints of gasoline in the tank."
It was then that sudden gust of wind flipped the Flyer over and over. Mr.Daniels, the photographer, tried to hold the machine but was unable to secure it and was badly bruised in his attempt.
He became the first airplane casualty.
I thought this was an impressive piece of artwork. It is not set up where the actual flight took place.
Orville Wright at the controls.
They did send their telegram back home to their father: Success four flights thrusday morning against twenty one mile wind from level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home before Christmas Orville Wright.
Interesting that the telegram states 2 seconds less than all the historical data.
Another interesting point is that this is the photo John Daniels took which doesn't look anything like the sculpture. I suppose the artist wanted it to look more dramatic.