prof to fly the Wright stuff
Its history in
associate professor of mechanical engineering, is one of two people
chosen to fly a reproduction of Orville and Wilbur Wrights
airplane to mark the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
|Kevin Kochersberger, one of two people selected as Pilot
of the Century, will fly a reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer
Dec. 17 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first
powered flight. Photos by Steve Diehl '76, associate professor
the honor when he was named a Pilot of the Century by the Experimental
Aircraft Association. First take-off will be at 10:35 a.m. Dec.
17. The re-enactment will take place at Wright Brothers National
Memorial near Kitty Hawk, N.C., and the site of the Wrights
daring experiments. A second re-enactment will be at 2 p.m.
share the honors with Terry Queijo, an American Airlines pilot
who was part of that airlines first all-female flight crew
in 1986 and who also was named a Pilot of the Century. The flights
are the climax to the weeklong First Flight Centennial Celebration
and the yearlong Countdown to Kitty Hawk sponsored by the Experimental
Aircraft Association and Ford Motor Co.
Kochersberger and Queijos
training, funded by Northrop Grumman Corp., utilizes the reproduction
1903 Wright Flyer, a reproduction 1902 Wright glider and, in a
modern concession, a flight simulator developed by Bihrle Applied
Research Inc. But it will be a low-tech procedure a coin
toss that determines who flies on the morning of the anniversary.
That flight, five feet above the ground, will cover about 119
feet, a foot less than the Wrights first flight, Kochersberger
to play a key role in the centennial celebration is a great honor,
one that will carry over to the RIT community through the classroom
and in student advising, Kochersberger says.
inspects a propeller chain guide on the aircraft.
A licensed pilot whose
first flight was in a hang glider at the age of 15, Kochersberger
worked with The Wright Experience, which coordinated research,
design and testing of the reproduction Wright Flyer, and on other
Wright brothers educational projects over the last five years.
On a yearlong sabbatical at NASAs Langley Full Scale Tunnel
in Virginia, Kochersberger focused on wind-tunnel testing of the
replica aircraft. Previously, he tested a 1910 Vertical 4 aircraft
engine and he and RIT graduate engineering students researched
and supported reverse engineering of Wright propellers, airframes
and engines at Delphi Automotive Systems in Henrietta, N.Y.
In August, the Federal
Aviation Administration issued a special airworthiness certificate
for the 605-pound reproduction that Kochersberger and Queijo will
fly. After the December flights, the aircraft will be donated
to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
creation and wind-tunnel tests are documented in photographs by
Steve Diehl 76 (photography), RIT associate professor of
photographic arts and sciences, at www.rit.edu/upub/kittyhawk.
The photo project was supported by RITs Office of the Provost.