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Two Kids Dream of Flight

Any given day, 23,000 scheduled flights take off and land at American airports. At any given time, 5,000 of those airplanes are simultaneously airborne. That means that approximately one million people are flying 300 mph at 30,000 feet at any given moment.

A hundred years ago, this was the stuff of science fiction. Then two brothers, Wilbur and Orville, turned science fiction into science fact. The Wright brothers' dream of flying traces back to an autumn day in 1878 when their father, a pastor and church leader, brought home a rather unique toy. Using a rubber band to twirl its rotor, a miniature bamboo helicopter flew into the air. Much like our mechanized toy helicopters, it broke after a few flights. But instead of giving up on it and going on to the next toy, the Wright brothers made their own.

And the dream of flying was conceived. A quarter century later, on December 17, 1903, Orville himself went airborne for twelve gravity-defying seconds in the first powered, piloted flight in history. It's almost impossible to imagine life as we know it without airplanes. But like every innovation, every revolution, every breakthrough, someone had to imagine the impossible first. Every dream has a genesis moment. It usually starts small—as small as a toy helicopter. But the chain reaction of faith defies gravity, defies the imagination. Without knowing it, the Wright brothers were creating the airline industry, the FAA, and the TSA. I'm sure it never crossed their minds, but their flying faith is the reason why a million people are speeding through the troposphere right now. It was two pastor's kids, Wilbur and Orville, who punched your ticket with their possibility thinking.

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