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Violins & Orvill & Wilbur Wright


Ken Nielsen
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Have any of you guys seen the 100th anniversary of flight on PBS, it's on repeatedly for the next month. Ford Motor has sponsored the rebuilding of the Kitty Hawk and spared no danger to recreate the thing just the way it was built in the bicycle shop of Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903. Check it out, they are test gliding it and have chosen the pilots. On Dec 17th, the date was 100 years ago - they are going to let it go again at the same location in North Carolina.If you love planes - this is yours. What's it got to do with violins? This last Tuesday's show mentioned that Wilber and Orvill had hired the local luthier to carve the first production plane prototype's propellors.

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Yes, I noticed the last one was listed as NOVA. I watch PBS enough on weekends to catch the upcoming programming. Other than that, getting a program guide for PBS might work too.

It's nice to know that violins, and the making of violins, fit well into a society, and offer many tangent contributions to all.

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George, Did I get my information wrong? I thought they had (also) said that the Wright Brothers had hired the local violinmaker to carve the model 'B' production aircraft prototype propellor.

Anyway, we are sure that at least one violinmaker has been involved somewhere in the history of flight.

This series, NOVA on PBS, is working its way up to the big day on December 17th when the new Kitty Hawk will take to the sky. There have been at least two segments I've seen so far, each different but overlapping some information. I trust they will make the whole story available on DVD in the near future.

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Hi All,

This thread caught my eye because some of my work deals with aviation. Just an FYI: The Wright's flying machine was called the "Flyer" (sounds dumb but it's true) and there were several Flyer versions after the 1903 one, called in turn Flyer B, Flyer C, and so on. "Kitty Hawk" is the name of the Carolina beach where they did their testing. It's a common mistake folks make to call the aircraft that.

It's also an extremly unstable craft and I pray for the pilots attempting to actually fly the reproduction. All the previous flyable reproductions I know of were fitted with more powerful engines or had adjustments made to the airframe to make them more stable. So even with the skills of a master violin-maker, they'll need all the luck in the world!

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Wow! A hundred years of flight! Thats cool! I'm going to have to look for those shows. I saw a replica of a wright flyer at the Evergreen aviation museum, along with the Spruce Goose and the SR71 Blackbird. Its amazing how far flight has advanced since the Wright brothers. My favorite airplane is the " forked tail devil" the Lockheed P-38 lightning. I dont know why I like it, Maybe because its "the Forked tail devil" and I play the Devils Box!" The Devil if I know!!

FiddlinJim

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I think I finally found the schedule. It aired pretty late the other night and my VCR programming did not work. Does anyone out there have a satellite dish and you are able to program your VCR or the dish receiver to record? When I tried it through the receiver it asked for a code for my VCR but my instruction manual did not have it. It seems like when I turn on the VCR the dish receiver does not work. Anyone have a clue on how to record from satellite channel to VCR?

BTW, check out this interview, it's really interesting:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wright/inventors.html

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One of those reproductions is in the workshop area of the Wright brothers' bicycle shop at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. If you are ever in the Detroit area, try to get there. It is amazing the thing flew.

BTW - The house they lived in with their sister is there as well. You can check it out at the website for The Henry Ford

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Hi Ken,

I am going to watch the program again. It was one of the best Nova programs ever aired. I am almost positive that it was a violinmaker carving the reproduction propeller on the program. I am not saying that the original was not carved by violinmaker also.

As for the name of the aircraft, I tend to call it the Kitty Hawk, but it was just the Wright Flyer. The reproduction on the program was a Wright Model B. The group that was building the aircraft, built it around a donated Model B engine, which I believe is one of the few Wright engines in existance outside of museums. The Model B reproduction took off accidentally while doing the taxi trials and crashed in the trees, putting the pilot in the hospital.

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