Final U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission
First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board Attendees
Gen. Dailey called the final meeting of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission and the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board to order. Gen. Dailey remarked that the Centennial commemoration has been a tremendous success, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of our Centennial Partners. Since our last meeting in September, the National Air Tour 2003 was a huge success. October saw the opening of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's new exhibit "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age." And, December was a great month with all of the opening events at the Smithsonian's new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles and North Carolina's First Flight Centennial Celebration right after. All of these events were outstanding, and could not have happened without the collaborative efforts of all of our Partners. Thanks go to the organizers of these events, and to the Air Force, NASA and the FAA for their contributions. The exhibits were impressive, and the amount of exposure for the Centennial celebration was unparalleled.
Gen. Dailey wanted to spend some time at the end of the meeting reflecting on the activities of this past year -
The Commission, in partnership and cooperation with NASA, the Air Force and the FAA, produced, printed and distributed a significant amount of quality educational and informational resources. Nine different products, including posters, decals, bookmarks and brochures, were produced. The Commission printed 717,575 products, NASA 1,703,235 products, the Air Force 1,000,000 products and the FAA 63,825 products, for a grand total of 3,484,635 printed educational products. These figures do not include the educational materials produced by other Centennial Partners and event planners - only those centennial products developed by the Commission and NASA.
There were approximately 3.7 million Web site hits in December with more than 470,000 hits on December 17 alone! In total, since June 2001, more than 994 different centennial events appeared on our Web site Calendar of Events. The Commission Web site has been submitted for consideration for the Pirelli INTERNETional Award 2003. The Pirelli Award is an international multimedia award for the diffusion of scientific and technological culture entirely carried out on the Internet.
The Commission Web site has been selected for inclusion on EDSITEment (http://edsitement.neh.gov) as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities. EDSITEment is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Trust for the Humanities and the MarcoPolo Education Foundation and serves as a gateway to the highest quality humanities-related educational content on the Internet.
The Weather Contest of the Century drew interest from K-12 classroom teachers and students from across the country. Thousands of students conducted research and made predictions about temperature, wind speed and direction, and additional climatic conditions based on their data. The contest winners are listed on the Commission Web site. "In the Studio with Dr. Robert T. McCall," who created the Centennial of Flight Mural celebrating 100 years of aviation accomplishments, was added to the Sights & Sounds category of the Commission Web site.
Google (www.google.com) celebrated the centennial of flight by showing a flyer on its homepage. The Centennial of Flight was featured as the "Web Site of the Day" in the Transportation Communications Newsletter. The newsletter covers all aspects of communications in the transportation field and is currently subscribed to by more than 4,900 transportation professionals around the world.
The NASA History Office has agreed to take over the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission Web site. The Web site will stay in tact, with the same URL. Transition to the History office will be transparent to Web site visitors. Two servers owned by the Commission will be given to NASA. Negotiations are underway as to how the transfer of ownership of the servers will offset future maintenance costs of the Web site.
The Commission will receive the first installment of our FY 2004 appropriation this month. The FY 2004 Budget in the legislation was $600,000. The Commission will not be spending all of this.
The 2003 National Plan will serve as the Commission's final report. The call for input has gone out with a recommended format. Input is due February 9, 2004. The Commission's Final Report is due no later than June 30, 2004, and will be submitted to the President and the Congress. The Commission shall terminate not later than 60 days after the submission of the final report. All documents and material should be transferred to the National Archives or other appropriate Federal entity. Not later than September 30, 2004, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the President and to Congress a report detailing the results of any audit of the financial transactions of the Commission conducted by the Comptroller General. The Advisory Board shall terminate upon the termination of the Commission.
Gen. Dailey introduced Dr. Tom Crouch, Chairman of the Advisory Board. Dr. Crouch thanked everyone for contributing to the success of the centennial commemoration. He felt people had gone above and beyond, making the celebration great. The legacy left behind was quite impressive as well.
Mr. Greg Herrick showed a slide show from the National Air Tour. He congratulated the Commission and Advisory Board members on the success of the centennial celebration. He thanked his sponsors and the thousands of volunteers that pitched in. The National Air Tour celebrated the Golden Age of Aviation. This year, in 17 days, 25 vintage aircraft visited 26 cities and followed a seventy-one year old route. Mr. Herrick feels they reached millions of people. People could follow the Tour on the Web, where there were daily updates as well as information on the original tour. There were more than 14.5 million hits to the Web site in September. More than 75,000 witnessed the vintage aircraft first hand and a video of the original Tour was produced. There were 100 million gross media impressions of which 80 percent carried the Commission message. Professional writers traveled with the Tour, and it received top placement in local newspapers. The National Air Tour was accident free and a resounding success - it brought aviation to people locally.
Tony Springer presented NASA's significant contribution to the centennial of flight. He reviewed the original goals and how each was met. In support of the Commission, NASA provided International Space Station downlinks, staff, media support, wind tunnel support and many impressive educational/informational materials. NASA's new centennial exhibit was displayed at every major centennial event. More than 7.5 million people were reached directly by the exhibits. NASA's Aerospace Design Exhibit and Art Exhibit visited many of the centennial venues. As part of the NASA Art Program, a centennial song, "Way Up There," was commissioned and later nominated for a Grammy Award. A new Robert McCall mural was unveiled. NASA-sponsored centennial conferences and symposiums were held in Washington, D.C., and Cleveland, Ohio. NASA made significant contributions to centennial publications, to include the Celebrating a Century of Flight brochure. NASA partnered and collaborated with numerous organizations to celebrate the centennial, and made a lasting impact through its activities. NASA produced both scholarly and public material on NASA activities and flight, and inspired current and future generations to the wonders of flight and the contributions of NASA. Gen. Dailey and Mr. Tom Poberezny both thanked NASA for their incredible and generous contribution to the centennial of flight, and commented on what a tremendous partner NASA had been.
Ms. Debbie Gallaway presented the final education report. The Commission's educational exhibits traveled far and wide to many different centennial venues. There were many national, state and local educational events that were supported by the Commission. The educational events listed on the Commission calendar grew from 0 in 2000 to 116 in 2003, and these events took place in 25 different states. The educational materials, produced jointly by the Commission and NASA, were distributed in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and more than 20 countries. In addition, NASA produced numerous centennial of flight related educator guides, CDs, and posters that were distributed to tens of thousands of educators and students and several distance learning programs that reached millions of students in their classrooms. The Commission's Web site was a tremendous source of special resources for educators, to include the Educational Resource Matrix, over 400 essays, Fact of the Day, great projects for students, and more. The Web site has been well recognized by several organizations as an outstanding site for educators and students. There have been a significant number of educational initiatives undertaken with all of the centennial partners. Additional centennial of flight related educational collaborations, presentations and activities were conducted in partnership with numerous educational institutions/organizations, professional associations, community-based organizations, museums, science centers, libraries, government agencies, Wright brothers-related organizations, and the media. These collaborative efforts have been incredibly productive and successful. They mark the beginning of unlimited educational opportunities and partnerships.
Mr. Dick Howard introduced Superintendent Larry Belli, Ms. Mary Doll, Mr. Ferg Norton, Ms. Julie Ketner Rigby, Ms. Carolyn McCormick, Ms. Kim Sawyer, Ms. Katherine Lilley and Ms. Renee Cahoon. He thanked them all for their contributions that made the North Carolina event a great success, in particular, he recognized Kim Sawyer for the leadership role she took. Superintendent Belli gave some highlights of the event: 115,000 people over six days; three days completely sold out; bussing system that worked exceedingly well; visitors from all 50 states, DC and 15 foreign countries; 250 volunteers; more than 800 credentialed media; more than 1,200 staff onsite; and Air Force One dipping its wing as it flew over the site. Superintendent Belli believes they left a tremendous legacy for the Park, essentially renovating Wright Brothers National Memorial. There is also a new centennial statue that visitors can touch and feel. An educational endowment will be set up with grants from the coin program. The entire North Carolina event is a superb example of strong and successful partnerships. Superintendent Belli also believes that this event is the largest event ever planned by the National Park Service. Kim Sawyer, representing Advisory Board member Libba Evans, showed a video with highlights of the event. The NC Commission will prepare a report with the National Park Service as a close out report. The report will showcase the organizational structure, program, transportation and other components of the event. When the report is complete the Commission will receive a copy. The video will be ready for sale within the next 30 days and is dedicated to Harry Combs and the tremendous legacy he left. Kim thanked the Commission staff for their support. Kim also thanked the Air Force for the significant role they played in the NC event. Gen. Dailey stated that the Air Force made a commitment early on to support the centennial of flight and carried through on their commitment in an outstanding way. They were a great model for the other services to follow.
EAA President Tom Poberezny remarked that the centennial is not just a year but a decade, and not just about aviation but about leaving the world a better place. Some highlights of the Countdown to Kitty Hawk program include: more than 400,000 people went through the pavilion; 50 flags to Kitty Hawk program; 700 aircraft built by homebuilders with the centennial designation; and the flight of the 1 millionth Young Eagle. Mr. Poberezny showed a video with highlights. EAA met its goal to fly the Wright replica, and anticipation of the flight was greater than the actual moment itself. EAA focused on aviation and the Wright brothers and has now launched the 2nd century of flight. The emotions and the legacy left cannot be quantified.
Ms. Carolyn McCormick thanked the Commission and the Advisory Board on behalf of the 32,000 people that live on the Outer Banks. September 2003 was the worst storm of the century and in December 2003, a total of 71 million Americans viewed the NC event. She believes that everyone was a winner as a result of the centennial commemoration and thanked Amanda Wright Lane for being such an outstanding spokesperson.
Brian Ellis from Carter Ryley Thomas (CRT) remarked that the centennial was a once in a lifetime opportunity and CRT was grateful to be a part of that opportunity. Brian started his presentation by reminding us that the situation at the start of the campaign was pretty bleak, and then went from bad to worse. He reviewed the "Lead, Coordinate, Educate" strategy that we adopted and reported the results against these strategies. More than 22.2 million people attended Centennial Partner events and activities. CRT created a media relations collaborative effort that included partners, federal agencies, sponsors and public relations firms. Centennial of flight-related stories reached more than 1.4 billion readers and viewers. Equivalent advertising value equals $31.1 million, a 2000 percent return on investment. More than 13.3 million future inventors and aviators were exposed to an inspiring story of flight. There were significantly more visits to the Commission Web site with longer stays. Individual hits increased from 145,000 a month to 3.66 million in December 2003. Gen. Dailey thanked CRT for their support and stated he could not have been more pleased with their work. Gen. Dailey said they made a significant contribution to the country.
Mr. Ken Hyde, The Wright Experience, said they had completed two 1903 Flyers and the third should be complete later this year. They were very fortunate to have Scott Crossfield in charge of pilot training. They made more than 200 flights at their facility in Warrenton. Ken discussed the encampment at Kitty Hawk and the great fun they had with the glider at Jockey's Ridge. The first flight on November 20 was 97 feet long and lasted 8.5 seconds. The second flight on November 25 crashed. The third flight on December 3 was 115 feet long and lasted 12 seconds. December 17 was rainy with low winds and water on the launching rail. There was an electrical current in the crowd, but the flight was not to be. Paul Glenshaw discussed the interactive exhibits at the Park that he designed. They were very popular, especially with the children. Ken Hyde thanked the Commission and the Advisory Board for their support, stating he could not have done what he did without their help.
Gen. Dailey led a Roundtable Discussion by asking the Commissioners and Advisory Board members to share their personal thoughts on the year's centennial activities. The goal was to promote awareness of the accomplishments of the Wright brothers and the centennial of flight - how do you think we did? What legacy have we left behind? What could have been improved?
Brad Tillson responded that it really was the end of an era. They had begun their efforts in Dayton in 1989 with the 2003 Committee. It had been an incredible ride and well worth the effort. He felt that Dayton was a big winner with the long-term legacy. Mr. Tillson thanked the Commissioners, staff and Advisory Board members for their support and noted the great partnerships that had been forged during the centennial. He articulated three major accomplishments. First, the Commission provided a venue where people could share information. Networks were formed that had major impact on the success of the centennial events. The Commission was instrumental in urging Federal participation. Special recognition was given to Michael Gessel, Tom Crouch and North Carolina. A second accomplishment was the marketing and outreach efforts of the Commission. Mr. Tillson felt that the best single decision made by the Commission was to work with Carter Ryley Thomas. The educational legacy was exceptionally impressive as was the 2002 Kick-off and the event at Rockefeller Center. The third accomplishment was the legacies, specifically the strong partnerships formed, the Commission Web site, the educational resources developed by all the centennial partners and the Aviation Theme Study. Brad felt the centennial commemoration had touched and inspired many young children. Gen. Dailey thanked Mr. Tillson for his thoughtful comments and his leadership.
Mr. Poberezny commented that the Commission's results were far beyond his expectations. The partnerships, camaraderie and focus on the mission were great. He felt the accomplishments would be a match for any other commission and he was proud to be a part of this Commission. He shared his personal feelings on December 17, 2003, when the crowds at the Wright Brothers National Memorial parted to let the Flyer through. For him, it was the culmination of a whole year of work. Tom was proud of the legacy left behind.
Mr. Mike O'Brien, representing NASA Administrator O'Keefe, said NASA took the centennial celebration very seriously and was very proud to contribute.
Mr. Dick Howard spoke of the history of the Visitors Center funding and how North Carolina had been able to overcome the funding setbacks. He is committed to reopening the issue of the Visitors Center funding. The feedback he received about the North Carolina event was tremendous.
Ms. Shelia Bauer, representing FAA Administrator Blakey, remarked that the centennial collaboration was great and it was a pleasure to work with the finest professionals. She thanked everyone on behalf of Administrator Blakey. Shelia remarked that this was a beginning for her as an educator, to take all the materials developed and go forward and educate the students.
Dr. Crouch recognized Michael Gessel as the author of the Commission legislation. Tom commented that he believed the American public was the real winner. Future generations will have the legacies left at Dayton, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and all of the educational programs and resources.
Ms. Martha King observed the enthusiasm of the crowds on December 17th in North Carolina cheering the individuals trying to make the First Flight succeed. She felt the crowds appreciated the guts, effort and can do spirit. She believed it was a fitting transition from the last century of flight to the next century of flight - and we should all look forward now.
Todd Hamilton remarked about the legacy left and the positive impact on children. He felt there was a renewed pride in aviation and a new can do spirit. He noted that it was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the centennial efforts.
Lt. Col. Shepherd, representing the Air Force, felt the educational legacy was tremendous. He also noted that the Commission had been successful targeting children as well as influential aviation communities.
Commander Roof, representing the Navy, complimented the Air Force on the incredible job they did commemorating the centennial. The Air Force was a great model for others to follow.
Superintendent Larry Belli, National Park Service, commented that everyone worked extremely hard and well together.
Gen. Dailey read a letter from Dr. Armstrong that he felt was a fitting summary.
I'm afraid I must miss this final meeting of the Commission and Advisory Group. I am committed to participating in a Capital Fund Campaign meeting for my alma mater, Purdue University on February 6 and 7. I regret that I will not be present to congratulate all who were so effective in executing the Centennial celebrations.
Gen. Dailey recognized Dr. Armstrong for his commitment to the centennial and his attendance at most of the meetings and events. Gen. Dailey stated that he was always there for the Commission. Gen. Dailey felt very positively about the Commission and the Advisory Board as they said this is what we are going to do and then did it. Gen. Dailey presented Certificates of Appreciation to Commissioners, Advisory Board members, CRT and Beverly Farmarco.
Gen. Dailey thanked everyone for contributing to this great success! It was obviously the result of the combined efforts of many, many people. The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 PM.