My Dad Smiled Today

The sound of a Packard built Rolls Royce Merlin engine rang out at the Asheboro, North Carolina airport Saturday afternoon. Alex Newsom of Cheraw, South Carolina flew his dad’s P-51D ┬áMustang into the airport for the annual fly-in. Arguably the best propeller powered fighter ever built, my Dad flew 39 combat missions in an identical one during his service in World War II. He was looking over my shoulder all afternoon and smiling.

(Photographs copyright 2013 by Dan Routh)

Wright Brothers Redone

(image copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)

On December 17, 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We produced the image above at Jockey’s Ridge, a huge sand dune not far from the original flight site, for an outdoor apparel poster. We tried to produce it in the same vein as the famous photograph of that historic day. Like the Wright Brothers, we had our share of problems. After a couple of flights trying to fly into the wind the wrong way in order to get our angle, we crashed the hang glider and ended our day.

First Flight, December 17, 1903 (National Park Service Photograph)