COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — More than a century has passed since Wilbur and Orville Wright ascended into the Dayton skies after designing the world’s first functional airplane.
Today, two lawmakers want to honor that feat by crowning the brothers’ famed aircraft, the 1905 Wright Flyer III, as Ohio’s official state airplane. The third rendition of the Wright brothers’ groundbreaking invention, the Wright Flyer III was first flown on June 23, 1905, at Huffman Prairie, a pasture about eight miles east of Dayton.
“It’s certainly a product of Ohio,” said Edward Roach, a historian at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
In a nod to Ohio’s status as the birthplace of aviation, state senators Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) introduced legislation last month to adopt the 1905 Wright Flyer III as Ohio’s official state plane.
The aircraft did not only open the doors to an entirely new mode of travel, Huffman said.
“The things they discovered to make the Wright Flyer advanced many other aspects of the manufacturing and engineering industries in Ohio,” he said.
If lawmakers pass Senate Bill 42, the aircraft would join a slew of other Ohio symbols – the cardinal, the buckeye, the carnation and more – that have earned the esteemed designation. Efforts to add the sugar cookie and walleye to the list of state symbols was not taken up in last year’s General Assembly.