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World’s First Air Cargo Flight Commemorated

Wright Model B
Wright “B” Flyer pilots Mitch Cary and Richard Stepler fly near Yellow Springs, Ohio, as they re-enact the world’s first air cargo flight October 2. Photo Credit: Timothy R. Gaffney

October 7, 2010 — The 100th anniversary of the first air cargo flight was successfully commemorated Saturday, October 2, as a Wright Model B flew from Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton to Madison County Airport, then to Rickenbacker Airport in Columbus, Ohio, at an event conducted by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance. A century ago, on November 7, a Wright-built airplane carried pilot Philip O. Parmelee and a cargo of silk cloth to Columbus merchant Max Morehouse. Descendents of both families were at Rickenbacker Saturday waiting for the Wright B Flyer and its crew, Mitch Cary and Rich Stepler.

“We were a little chilly but overall had good weather, good tailwinds, and made great time into our mid-point stop,” Cary said. The Wright B Flyer was met at Madison County by a crowd of aviation enthusiasts before taking off for Columbus.

The crew unloaded the cargo they carried on the flight, which included ceramic composite cloth and three concept micro unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). It was presented to Wright family members Amanda Wright Lane and her brother Steve Wright, and Parmelee family members Lecia Lamphere and her brother Philip McKeachie.

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