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For Release: Dec. 11, 1997

Janice Johnson
(757) 864-6123

RELEASE NO. 97-131


Ninety-four years ago, near Kitty Hawk, N.C., Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first controlled and sustained flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Dr. Tom D. Crouch, Chairman of the Division of Aeronautics at the National Air and Space Museum, will discuss the unique combination of talents and qualities that enabled the Wright Brothers to become the first people to successfully complete the quest for flight.

Crouch will examine this historic flight from personal, professional and engineering perspectives to reveal how the Wrights found themselves on the doorstep of history in 1903.

Crouch has won a number of major writing awards, including the 1989 Christopher Award, a literary prize recognizing "significant artistic achievement in support of the highest values of the human spirit," for The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

A media briefing will be held at 12:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Boulevard in Hampton. Media who wish to attend this briefing should contact Janice Johnson (757) 864-6123. Crouch's talk begins at 1 p.m.

A similar presentation will be given by Crouch at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air and Space Center (VASC) in Hampton.

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