Wright Brothers National Memorial: History, Hours and Facts

Wright Brothers National MemorialThe Wright Brothers National Memorial is dedicated to the Wright Brothers, the pioneers of flight. During 1903, these two successfully flew through rain, ice and gusting winds to test what would be called the world’s first airplane. It flew for exactly 12 seconds.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial sits on the same piece of land where they took flight that day. It was actually sought out because of the ideal conditions. They noted the soft, sandy beach as perfect for landing purposes. How ironic that they would attempt their first flight during December, when the weather was so harsh.

The Centennial Pavilion has also been called one of the best places to visit in North Carolina because of the number of additional things to see at the memorial. One of the reasons why the area is separated into sections is to allow enough people to gather together.

Outer Banks vacation rentals located close to the memorial are available on a seasonal basis, regardless of the availability of the memorial. Although many people will still travel during the off season, it is not likely to find accommodations except in hotels or lodges.

Today, many tourists choose Outer Banks vacations for a historical trip down memory lane. Considering the types of aircrafts we have now, it is difficult to imagine these two brothers actually gaining any air time, but without their ingenuity, we might not have the technology we sometimes take for granted.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Facts

Many may not realize that this memorial actually began as far back as 1920, or even still, only 17 years after their first successful flight. To have a monument created so quickly is generally unheard of. But, the Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association did just that.

Along with Outer Banks locals, they rallied support and in 1927, the president signed the declaration and established the monument. Ironically, it was called Kill Devil Hill Monument and was renamed for the Wright Brothers almost 50 years later.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Hours of Operation

The memorial itself is always open. It is available to the public 7 days a week and all year. The Centennial Pavilion is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. The Visitor Center is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. The only days the Centennial Pavilion and the Visitor Center are closed is Christmas Day.

As one of the most popular Outer Banks attractions, it is advised that all visitors arrive early enough to enjoy the tours without feeling rushed. The displays include the 1902 glider, the 1903 flyer and the 1903 flying machine, all reproductions. These are located in the Visitor Center.