Huffman Prairie
Huffman Prairie, also known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field or Huffman Field is part of Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

's Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
thumb|left|200 px|The Wright Flyer III, now in Carillon Historical Park, shown being flown by Orville Wright on October 4, 1905, over [[Huffman Prairie]] near Dayton...

. The 84-acre (34-hectare) patch of rough pasture, near Fairborn
Fairborn, Ohio
Fairborn is a city in Greene County, Ohio, United States, near Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The population was 32,352 at the 2010 census...

, northeast of Dayton
Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...

, is the place where the Wright Brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

 (Wilbur and Orville) undertook the difficult and sometimes dangerous task of creating a dependable, fully controllable airplane and training themselves to be pilot
- Science and technology :* Pilot experiment, a precursor to a full experiment* Pilot light, a flame kept continually burning and used to light burners on household appliances* Pilot signal, or pilot tone, in telecommunications- Biology :...

s. Many early aircraft records
Aircraft records
This article gives yearly aviation records under 5 headings: airspeed, range, ceiling, gross take-off weight and engine power.-Sources:Gunston, Bill : Chronicle of Aviation, Chronicle Communications Ltd., 1992, ISBN 1-872031-30-1, pp...

 were set by the Wrights at the Huffman Prairie.

The Wrights began using Huffman Prairie in 1904 with the permission of the field's owner, Dayton banker Torrence Huffman. Its location along an interurban rail line from the brothers' hometown of Dayton provided them with easy access. The Wrights made about 150 flights at the field in 1904–1905, leading to development of the 1905 Wright Flyer III
Wright Flyer III
The Wright Flyer III was the third powered aircraft built by the Wright Brothers. Orville Wright made the first flight with it on June 23, 1905. The Flyer III had an airframe of spruce construction with a wing camber of 1-in-20 as used in 1903, rather than the less effective 1-in-25 used in 1904...

, which they considered to be the first practical airplane. This aircraft has been restored, and is now displayed at the Carillon Historical Park
Carillon Historical Park
Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre park and museum in Dayton, Ohio, which contains historic buildings and exhibits concerning the history of technology and the history of Dayton and its residents from 1796 to the present. The historical elements of the park were the brainchild of Colonel...

 in Dayton.

In 1910, the Wright Company
Wright Company
The Wright Company was the commercial aviation business venture of the Wright Brothers, established by them in 1909 in conjunction with several prominent industrialists from New York and Detroit with the intention of capitalizing on their invention of the practical airplane. It maintained a...

 placed its testing operations at Huffman Prairie Flying Field; the Wright Company also operated its Wright Flying School
Wright Flying School
The Wright Flying School, also known as the Wright School of Aviation, was operated by the Wright Company from 1910 to 1916 and trained 119 individuals to fly Wright airplanes.-History:...

 on the site. Through the Flying School, the Wright Company trained more than a hundred pilots, including the aviators for the Wright Exhibition Team
Wright Exhibition Team
The Wright Exhibition Team was a group of early aviators trained by the Wright brothers at Wright Flying School in Montgomery, Alabama in March 1910.-History:The group was formed in 1910 at the suggestion of Augustus Roy Knabenshue....

 and early military aviators, including Henry H. "Hap" Arnold
Henry H. Arnold
Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold was an American general officer holding the grades of General of the Army and later General of the Air Force. Arnold was an aviation pioneer, Chief of the Air Corps , Commanding General of the U.S...

 and Thomas DeWitt Milling. The United States Army Signal Corps purchased the field in 1917 and renamed it, along with 2,000 adjacent acres (8 km²), Wilbur Wright Field. In 1948 the area was merged with nearby Patterson Field to became Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

The National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 currently operates this historic site where visitors may see the place where the Wrights developed the world’s first practical airplane as well as replicas of their 1905 hangar and launching catapult. While the historic flying field is mowed short, simulating the grazed pasture used by the Wrights and allowing its use for re-enactment flights, an adjacent area of tall-grass prairie is maintained unmowed, managed instead using late-season controlled burns
Fire ecology
Fire ecology is concerned with the processes linking the natural incidence of fire in an ecosystem and the ecological effects of this fire. Many ecosystems, such as the North American prairie and chaparral ecosystems, and the South African savanna, have evolved with fire as a natural and necessary...

. A nature trail winding among the prairie's tall grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

es, diverse wildflower
A wildflower is a flower that grows wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet "wildflower" meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. The term "wildflower" has been made vague by commercial seedsmen who are interested in selling more flowers or seeds more...

s, and occasional shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s. The Huffman Prairie area is located within the Air Force Base, with a separate entrance and fencing between it and an adjacent runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

 and other modern base facilities.
The associated Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the flying field near the Wright Memorial, on a hilltop overlooking Huffman Prairie and other parts of the Air Force Base. This facility addresses the specific problems Orville and Wilbur Wright encountered while they were perfecting their flying machine, their first demonstration flights in the United States and in Europe, their exhibition team, and their manufacturing facility in Dayton, Ohio. The center also highlights the continuing legacy of Orville and Wilbur Wright as embodied in the development of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the continuing aeronautical research at this Air Force facility.
Huffman Prairie Flying Field was designated as a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1990, and added to the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List as part of the Dayton Aviation Sites listing in 2008. In 1986, 109 acres (44.1 ha) of the natural portion of the Huffman Prairie was designated as an Ohio Natural Area.

The Dayton indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

 band Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices
Guided by Voices is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. Beginning with the band's formation in 1983, it made frequent personnel changes but always maintained the presence of principal songwriter Robert Pollard...

 has a song called "Huffman Prairie Flying Field" on their 2004 album Half Smiles of the Decomposed
Half Smiles of the Decomposed
Half Smiles of the Decomposed is the 15th album by Dayton, Ohio rock group Guided by Voices. It was the final album by the band before their 2010 reformation.-Track listing:All songs written by Robert Pollard....


External links

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