All You Ever Wanted To Know About Aviation History, You’ve Never Heard Of, But Were Afraid To Ask
By Carson Cockman
We all know and revere the name of the Wright Brothers…Those fearless pioneers of Aviation without whom the invention of the stewardess would never have occurred.
No! Not Orville and Wilbur! I mean Bart and Cletus, their cousins from North Carolina.
It is a little known fact that Wilbur and Orville had two cousins that lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
We, here in the Tar Heel state, know the truth about the fact that the history books do not mention the REAL inventors of the flying machine. I think it is high time to make these facts known. My crack research department has uncovered the REAL TRUTH and we have the crushed empty beer cans to prove it.
Let us return to yesteryear when men were men and women were women and income tax agents had not been invented yet.
The year was 1899.
Young Wilbur and Orville had been sent to visit their Uncle Freemont and Aunt Pearl on the outer banks. Their parents had sent them there because the two brothers had been caught playing with their propellers in their tree house, with a couple of local Dayton girls. It was deemed best if they got out of town for a while, until the local Judge and father of the two sisters cooled off.
It was here that the fateful meeting between the cousins occurred.
Bart and Cletus Wright were two highly inventive boys. They were also bored out of their ever-loving skulls because if you lived at Kitty Hawk in the 1800’s you pretty much watched the sea gulls and dreamed of getting the heck onto the mainland. The barrier islands were desolate places with more wind than Congress but with even less to do...much like it is today.
It was Bart and Cletus who introduced Orville and Wilbur to the beauty and elegance of the graceful dips and doodles of the seagull in flight. It was Bart and Cletus who introduced them to the simplicity of wing warping by teaching them how to build a kite from some driftwood and some waxed paper. It was Bart and Cletus who introduced the two Ohio cousins to the Skiveyton twins.
Unfortunately, Orville and Wilbur were caught with them getting their kite twine wrapped between the dunes.
However, the die had been cast. Their fates had been sealed. They were set upon the path of their destiny. They were shipped off to their other Uncle’s home in Tennessee.
Fast forward to 1903. The Dayton boys returned to the islands to try their bicycles. They had become bicycle mechanics and brought their contraption to the beach to try to renew their respective relationships with the Skiveyton twins. They pedaled their hearts out up and down the beach in a vain attempt to attract the attention of the two girls.
Unfortunately, the twins knew how to play "hard to get" and were blatantly unimpressed.
Enter our two young men of True Destiny.
Bart and Cletus had been so bored for all those years; they had built the world’s biggest kite from driftwood and waxed paper. The two knew they had the inside track on the race for the Skiveytons.
Orville and Wilbur discovered their secret invention and stole it. They took it to the top of Kill Devil Hill where in a desperate attempt to pick up chicks, they flung it and themselves repeatedly off the crest of the dune.
Finally, on the twelfth of December nineteen hundred ought three, they thought to actually do those two things TOGETHER and history was made.
In a truly ironic twist of fate, Wilbur and Orville’s plan actually failed.
While they were getting sand packed into bodily crevices by sticking the landing, so were Bart and Cletus and the Skiveyton twins.
We will learn more about the TRUTH of Aviation history next time, when we uncover unknown details about Leonardo DaVinci’s Air Screw.
"I think, if this screw instrument is well made, that means from linen starched (to block its pores) and is turned rapidly, then this said screw will find its female in the air and climb upwards." With this brief description, Leonardo da Vinci had envisioned the forefather of the modern helicopter and garnered a date with a chick named Mona.
Copyright 2006 Carson Cockman
* * * * *
I am a 50-year-old writer who hails from the Genteel South. I firmly believe that grits should be on every menu, barbeque slaw should be red and biscuits should not pop out of a can. Please keep all the chittlin’s ever chittled.
I have been married for thirty-three years. The secret to our success directly relates to Debbie’s aim with a frying pan and the fact that I purchased an old army surplus helmet some years ago.
My professional background is technical service. My social stratum is above hillbilly/redneck but lower than Billy Gates. My viewpoint is different. Perhaps it has to do with that frying pan.
Unlike most authors, who write about what they know. I write about what I do not know. My wife tells me I am clueless as any man can be. It logically follows that my work should reach at least fifty percent of the possible worldwide audience.