Do Weight-Shifting and Wing-Warping Skills Transfer?

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Kazuhiko Hachiya and his engineering partner Tota Ueno.

After interviewing Open Sky designer and pilot Kazuhiko Hachiya and his engineering partner Tota Ueno on Monday, I invited them to join me in a visit to the 1903 Wright Flyer simulator. Every year, the National Park Service (NPS) pulls the flight simulator, complete with hip cradle, out of the EAA museum and sets it up in the International Federal Partners exhibits. This year, they are on the west side of Hangar D. Since both the Open Sky jet and the 1903 Wright Flyer use(d) weight shifting and wing-warping to maneuver, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see how well the skills transfer. Besides, flying the simulator is a kick!

The Wright Flyer simulator is set up this year to be challenging… much more challenging than last year or the configuration generally set in the museum… but not so challenging as to be realistic to what Wilbur and Orville had to deal with. After both men flew, an NPS volunteer from Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park issued them their stamped certificate of flight and Young Ranger badges… mementos of their visit to AirVenture National Park.

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