This coverage is of Mr. Frank Wood - one of the few people to witness?
Country scene Music
Frank Wood walking Music
Mr. Wood and daughter looking at scrapbook photos. Voice Over
Still photos of Wright Brother' plane.
Mr. Wood talking.
Later Wright Brothers' flights.
Mr. Wood and dog.
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Background: This coverage is of Mr. Frank Wood - one of the few people to witness the first time Orville and Wilbur Wright got their flying machine off the ground.
December 17th marks the seventy-second anniversary of the birth of formal aviation ... the Wright Brother's flight at Kitty Hawk.
Few people realize however, that was not the first time Orville and Wilbur flew. That came three days earlier on December 14th. The flight lasted only three and a half seconds and ended when the plane crashed after flying 105 feet. A few privileged people were there. Frank Wood was one of them. He managed to get to Kitty Hawk in 1903, which was most unexpected. He'd gone down there with a friend, Barney Oldfield.
"On the 14th of December we saw the back end of it sticking out of this barn. And they said, 'Here's our flying machine.' 'Oh, 'I said, 'It's a moving machine.' And they said, 'No, it's our flying machine.' Well, it was a darn good big kite ... that was what I thought it was."
"We got it atop the hill, and got her started runnin' all right, and Wilbur laid down to fly it. Steered with his arms and feet. Barney said, 'Let's go, 'and we shoved it off, and he was yelling all the while, 'Let's go, let's go, 'and it went. I could run as fast as it were runnin' when it left the ground. I knew it would fly. I knew it was light enough, and it had power. I could fly a barn door if I had enough power."
"A reporter from the Philadelphia Ledger ... I think he said, 'What are you going to do with it?' I said, 'They're going to show it to the dear public, sell it to the Government, and build a lot of them someday.' 'Oh,' he said, 'You're crazier than hell-to-go."
Frank Wood died last summer. He was 98. During his lifetime he saw aviation grow from its infancy at Kitty Hawk to its maturity in todays space age Air Force.