We awoke in Frankenmuth Michigan and after a cup of coffee met with John Shelton the VP of Sales and Marketing of Zehnders properties. After a brief introduction we were introduced to Al Zehnder, the name says it all, we landed at Zehnders field, stayed at Zehnders hotel and water-park and ate at Zehnders famous chicken restaurant. It was a great morning learning of the history of the Zehnders and touring their incredible properties. For a more complete rundown the video will be out soon.
After breakfast we headed out Zehnder airport and readied Estelle for he next adventure. Our flight plan was simple, due South to Dayton Ohio. Our goal upon reaching Dayton was to tour the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson. We landed at Greene County Airport South of Dayton and were immediately greeted by 3 line guys that couldn’t wait to ask questions and climb around Estelle, it was great to see them so excited about Estelle. After spending an hour talking with everyone at Greene County we were on our way to the museum. We reached the museum at about 3:30 and it was quickly evident that 1.5 hours was not enough to take in this incredibly large collection. We took off, practically speed walking the museum and still only saw about 70% of what they had to offer. We will be there when the doors open tomorrow and we will might be able to read 1% of the information provided while touring the museum. Since the museum closed at 5pm and we had several hours of daylight left we decided to continue our tour of the Dayton flying scene. Ken had me point the car towards Huffman Field and off we went. I didn’t question where we were going and I am embarrassed to say Huffman Prairie Field did not trigger anything for me. It turns out that Huffman Prairie was used by the Wright brothers from 1904-1905 to improve the flight characteristics of the Wright Flyer and their pilot skills. They returned to this field in 1910 where they setup a flight school that trained over 100 pilots.
Usually when you go to an attraction you get a restored version or an almost overload of information followed by an exit through the gift shop. Huffman field is nothing like this. There is almost nothing around the field, a single lane road, a few information signs, one replica building and launch sled and a few markers delineating the original property boundaries. While walking through the field you can really envision the Wright brothers flying around the field making gentle turns perfecting the birth of powered flight. I felt as though I was walking on hallowed ground. If you are ever around the Dayton area take an hour out of your day to visit Huffman Prairie Field.