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100 Years of Flight: Pioneers & Barnstormers

September 20, 2003 - February , 2004
Heritage Gallery

2003 marks the 100th anniversary of thw Wright Brothers' first flight--the powered, fully controllable, heavier-than-air craft in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, sustaining flight with a pilot aboard. The possibility of humans navigating the currents of the atmosphere, as they had the currents of the seas for hundreds of years, was more than just a dream, it was a reality. The Michigan State University Museum celebrates this historic milestone, as well as Michigan's important role in the early days and the advancement of aviation.

In particular, the exhibit explores the lives of two local legends, Philip O. Parmelee of St. Johns, a chief pilot for the Wright Company, 1910-1911, is credited as the world's first commercial aviator. Stunt pilot Art Davis of East Lansing is the subject of another section of the exhibit. Davis first soloed in while attending Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU), where he graduated in 1923.

Posters, programs, pennants, trophies and other artifacts from early air shows help tell the story of 100 Years of Flight. The first international air meet took place in France in 1909, and air shows and competitive events spread around the U.S. and Europe shortly thereafter.

Family Fun Day

Saturday, September 20, 1:00pm
MSU Museum

Demonstrations, activities, and fun take flight for a celebration of aviation.

Admission: Free