Akinpelu Babatola
Guest Writer, The Xpress Train

Thanks to COVID19, airports all over the world have been closed down for a large part of the year. As countries gear up to reopen their airports to international flights, it is only fitting that we talk about National Aviation Day. 

National Aviation Day, August 19, is set aside to celebrate the pioneers and history of human flight. It is not a public holiday like all other events, but it is worth celebrating. After all, from the invention of the kite in ancient China to the inventions of inventors like Leonardo Da Vinci, humanity has always been obsessed about being in the air. 

And now, hundreds of years later, humans are in the sky. 

So what exactly is National Aviation Day and how should it be celebrated?

Well, keep reading and I will tell you.

National Aviation Day

Human flight started in a bicycle shop, where brothers and inventors, Wilbur and Orville Wright tinkered away testing various ideas about flight. The two set about testing several designs, going through several technological trends, starting from gliders, and eventually arriving at the idea of engine-powered flight. 

While the first flight took place on December 17th, 1903, President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1939, chose August 19th as National Aviation Day. The day celebrates the efforts of all inventors and engineers, like Charles Edward Taylor and Sir George Cayley, to put humanity into the sky. Coincidentally, it is also the birthday of Orville Wright, the first human to fly. 

How should it be celebrated?

With the lockdown still in effect, a trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina is out of the question. Nonetheless, there are many ways to celebrate National Aviation Day. You can try 

  • Building your own airplane. Whether it’s out of Lego bricks or paper you can try building your own model plane. 
  • Learning more about the history of aviation. Find out more about aviation, and exemplary aviators like the Wright Brothers and Amelia Earhart. 
  • Visiting virtual aviation museums. A trip to an actual museum is out of it thanks to the pandemic. But that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. You can still visit museums like The National Air and Space Museum and National Naval Aviation Museums online. There are various activities, videos, and virtual tours available online. 

So if you love sitting in the window seat on the plane, look to space travel as the future of flight or you are just human and appreciate the fact that we have planes, then you should take time out to celebrate National Aviation Day in one way or the other.