"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

105 years of powered flight celebrated today

105 years ago on Dec. 17, 1903, Hoosiers , Orville and Wilbur Wright, after three years experimentation , made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, (pop 2991) and called Chickahauk by native Indians - translation means "goose hunting grounds". The flight actually took place 4 miles out of town at what is now known as Kill Devil Hills ) on the Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Warren Buffett once said any right-minded capitalist who had seen the Wrights' contraption take to the skies in Kitty Hawk might have shot it down and saved investors 100 years of agony.

Quite simply, says the "Sage of Omaha" , airlines as a whole haven't netted a dime since 1903.

PS : This is what the tourist site Coastal Explorer.com says about Kill Devils Hill today ;

"Kill Devil Hills is the commercial hub of the Outer Banks where you will find the largest strip of fast food chains, called French Fry Alley by the locals. There are also many locally owned restaurants, strip shopping centers, department stores, surf shops, mini golf courses, chain hotels and small motels, a pier and souvenir stores galore."

The native American Indians don't get a look in.


sam_m said...

When people saw the Wright brothers' early machines their imaginations weren't fired by the idea of ferrying trippers to the Balearics.

What they envisaged was a new, military superweapon.

At that time, aerial observation was carried out from large box kites or balloons. It was static and completely exposed.

I used to know someone who was alive when the Kitty Hawk flew. He described the early potential for a plane as a "highly mobile gun" and found this view reinforced on his journey to and days spent on Bray Dunes in the spring of 1940.

Readers with an interest in avionics may enjoy making a selection here for recent developments.

I understand some of Warren Buffet's fortune has come from investment in companies associated with defence contracts :)

Stef said...


I was just about to say exactly the same thing

Civil aviation might not be capitalist friendly but military aviation has made a mint

and what's all this about the Wright Bros anyway?

Anonymous said...

The Wright brothers and Dumont demonstrated nearly completely opposite attitudes towards the military use of airplanes. The brothers marketed their aircraft to the U.S. Army for use in war, for reconnaissance they believed, while Santos Dumont in later life abhorred the destructive power of airplanes in warfare.

Wikipedia : Alberto Santos-Dumont

Anonymous said...

"Really. Believe it or not, a successful aircraft flew using a steam engine for power"...


(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish