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First Flight Mural

DAYTON, Ohio -- First flight mural in Kettering Hall at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- First flight mural in Kettering Hall at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Note: This exhibit is on display in Kettering Hall.

"The first flight mural depicts the historic achievements of Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. On that day, these two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, liberated man forever from the limitations of the land and sea. The mural, created from an intricate pattern of more than 163,000 ceramic tiles, each portraying an aspect of the Wright brothers' accomplishment, stands revealed as the result of imagination, art and technology, uniquely achieved for the first time on the world."
- James W. Jacobs, Co-founder, Aviation Hall of Fame

This mural, originally located in the Dayton Convention Center, was donated by the National Aviation Hall of Fame to the museum in 1998. The mural was made possible through the foresight and generosity of the Rike Family Foundation, which for many years has been an outstanding supporter of the arts in the Dayton, Ohio, area.

About the Design
This mural was designed by Read Viemeister, who used existing computer techniques for its creation in 1970. First, he converted the photograph into a grid pattern and isolated 20 basic shapes, or values, from the grid. Next he designed 20 symbols to match the isolated values. The symbols were applied to ceramic tiles, which were then assembled to make the mosaic mural as seen at the museum.

The original photograph used in developing the first flight mural was provided by Mrs. Ivonette Wright Miller, a niece of the Wright brothers. The print was made from the original glass negative, taken at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903.

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Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Conquering the Sky: Dec. 17, 1903
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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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