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Posted: 12/17/2003 7:15:42 PM EDT
OK, let me start off by saying that I am a huge aviation enthusiast, and a student pilot. Whe I was a kid, I digested every book about planes I could get my hands on, and I still read Flying magazine cover-to-cover every month.

I find the Wright brothers' achievements to be essential to the progress of humankind.

However, the effort to "reproduce" their flight 100 years ago today seems to me to be nothing more than folly. Can you imagine in 2069, anyone trying to replicate the Apollo 11 landing on the moon in a reproduction of those rickety buckets? Can you imagine someone trying to ascend Everest with the same primative equipment as Hilary? To do so is exactly contrary to what the original pioneers were striving for - advancement. If anything, the fact that, to date, the 1903 Wright Flyer has yet to be reproduced successfully as a flying machine only serves to illuminate the importance of the original work. I think the Wrights themselves would be more than a little perplexed by the effort expended to duplicate something that was merely a stepping stone in what would become a very impressive body of work that occupied their adult lifetimes.

Let the past remain in the past, and bring on the future!
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