Link #159: Neil Armstrong Took Wright Flyer’s Pieces to Moon!

Neil Armstrong
Image credit: NASA / Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr./CC0


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Link #159: Neil Armstrong Took Wright Flyer’s Pieces to Moon!

Neil Armstrong
Image credit: NASA / Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr./CC0

In our last article, we spoke about the Black Box – the most key component of an airplane when it comes to finding out why it crashed. The Black Box was invented in the 1960s which makes it one of the more recent devices to be inducted into the airplane systems.

The airplane itself, however, was invented at the turn of the 20th century in 1903. That single invention by the Wright Brothers is seen as the beginning of the age of air travel.

An equally key development in the development of humanity’s ability to fly was the visit to the moon. But, did you know that the Command Pilot of that mission, Neil Armstrong, actually took pieces of the Wright Brother’s first flyer to moon?

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Which Pieces Did Neil Armstrong Take To The Moon?

Wright Flyer
Author: Unknown, CC0

There were basically two pieces of the Wright Flyer that Neil Armstrong took to the moon. These were a piece of fabric and a piece of wood. The piece of fabric was muslin and it was taken from the left wing of the flyer that the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903. The wood was taken from the left propeller of that flyer.

Neil Armstrong managed to do this by approaching the National US Air Force Museum and making an arrangement with them. By this arrangement, the museum would allow him to take a small piece of wood and a small piece of muslin with him. Incidentally, the Wright Flyers only flew for one day because strong winds damaged it beyond repair on the day its success.

How Did Neil Armstrong Take the Wright Flyer’s Pieces to Moon?

Neil Armstrong On The Moon
Image Source: NASA/CC0

Man first landed on moon through the Apollo 11 mission which involved Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. It was Armstrong and Aldrin who would take the Lunar Module to land on the Moon while Collins was in orbit.

Armstrong would go on to become the first man on the Moon. However, what most people didn’t know then was that on mankind’s first mission to Moon, Armstrong was carrying memorabilia from the first ever flight of mankind.

Each of the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission was allowed to carry a Personal Preference Kit or PPK. The PPK was nothing but a space age purse for the astronauts. It was a Teflon coated bag that was similar to a lunch box in size.

The astronauts had sole discretion on what they would carry in their bags so long as it didn’t weigh more than five pounds. Effectively, each astronaut could take things to the moon or back from the moon.

Armstrong chose to take pieces of the Wright Flyer in his pouch. What else he carried is still unknown. The items that Aldrin and Collins took in their respective PPKs have since been auctioned off.

The information that Armstrong had carried these items in his PPK was revealed by him in his autobiography. The autobiography is called ‘First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong’.

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