5 things to know about the world’s first airport in Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Following the Wright brothers first flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903, the brothers needed space back home in Dayton to continue work on their flying machine. Huffman Prairie Flying Field fit the bill and became the sight of innovation of the world’s first practical airplane.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Following the Wright brothers’ first flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903, the duo needed space back home in Dayton to continue work on their flying machine.

Huffman Prairie Flying Field fit the bill and became the site of innovation on the world’s first practical airplane. Here are five things to know about the historic field, which is considered the world’s first airport:

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Orville, left, and Wilbur Wright at their hanger at Huffman Prairie in 1904.

Credit: Wright State Univ. Collection

Orville, left, and Wilbur Wright at their hanger at Huffman Prairie in 1904.

Credit: Wright State Univ. Collection

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Orville, left, and Wilbur Wright at their hanger at Huffman Prairie in 1904.

Credit: Wright State Univ. Collection

Credit: Wright State Univ. Collection

1. Donated land. Torrence Huffman, a Dayton banker, donated use of about 100 acres of pasture land eight miles northeast of Dayton to the Wright brothers so they could experiment with their new invention.

2. Turns and circles. The aviation pioneers made their first turn and first circle in the air over the prairie while flying their Wright Flyer II in 1904. That year Orville and Wilbur Wright made 105 flights, which totaled 49 minutes in the air.

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Orville Wright is at the controls of the Wright Model B in 1910 at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: William Mayfield

Orville Wright is at the controls of the Wright Model B in 1910 at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: William Mayfield

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Orville Wright is at the controls of the Wright Model B in 1910 at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: William Mayfield

Credit: William Mayfield

3. Air time. The following year, the brothers brought their 1905 Wright Flyer III to the flying field. This innovative plane was able to bank, fly in circles and maneuver in figure-eights. That year the Wrights were in the air over the acreage for 262 minutes during 50 flights.

4. Record breaking site. On Oct. 5, 1905 Wilbur Wright flew around the field in the Wright Flyer III more than 29 times – for 39 minutes, 23 4/5 seconds – to record a world record flight. Today the Wright Flyer III, the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, is on display at Carillon Historical Park.

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Orville Wright pilots the Wright 1905 Flyer during the 23rd flight at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: Wright State University Collecti

Orville Wright pilots the Wright 1905 Flyer during the 23rd flight at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: Wright State University Collecti

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Orville Wright pilots the Wright 1905 Flyer during the 23rd flight at Huffman Prairie. 

Credit: Wright State University Collecti

Credit: Wright State University Collecti

5. From pasture to Air Force base. The Huffman Prairie Flying Field later became the site of the Wright School of Aviation, a training site for military pilots. The flying field is located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and in 1990 was designated a National Historic Landmark.

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