As the 100th anniversary of powered flight approaches, the ‘Wright Brothers’ and NASA are joining forces to inspire thousands of Bay Area students at Aero Expo VI.

On Dec. 8, 9 and 10, approximately 4000 fifth- through eighth-grade students from around the Bay Area will participate in Aero Expo VI at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley. Aero Expo VI is the forth and final event in a series of Centennial of Flight celebrations sponsored by NASA’s Airspace Systems Program and the Computing, Information, Communications Technologies Program (CICT) in collaboration with NASA Ames’ Education Office. Students will be treated to a presentation by ‘Orville and Wilbur Wright,’ hands-on activities, exhibits and aircraft displays.

“We want the students participating in Aero Expo VI to become the engineers and scientists that will lead the nation in the next 100 years of powered flight,” said Donald James. “The Aero Expo events are a critical part of NASA’s effort to ‘inspire the next generation of explorers.'”

Aero Expo VI is composed of two components; a presentation by ‘Orville and Wilbur Wright’ and hands-on exhibits and displays at Aero Village. The presentation by the ‘Wrights’ will discuss the first 100 years of powered flight and the possibilities for the next 100 years in aerospace. Presentations in NASA Ames’ main auditorium, building N-201, are scheduled for 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. PST.

For the presentations, Steve Shackelford, who is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controller at Los Angeles Center, will portray Orville Wright and Jim Johnson, who works at the NASA Ames Technical Library, will play Wilbur Wright. Moderating the presentation will be ‘Catherine Wright’ played by Linda Conrad, an education specialist at NASA Ames.

The other component of Aero Expo VI is the 175,000-square-foot Aero Village. The village contains a 16,000-square-foot tent containing a full-scale Wright Flyer replica, hands-on exhibits and displays. Exhibitors include NASA Ames’ technical projects, programs and educational organizations, the Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos, Calif., Wings of History Museum, San Martin, Calif., and aerospace organization and clubs from around the Bay Area. Students will have 18 hands-on activities and exhibits designed to stimulate and motivate them to pursue further education in math, science and technology.

The outside display area will hold 100 NASA, military and historic and contemporary civilian aircraft spanning the one hundred years of powered flight. Aircraft on display will include NASA’s Kuiper C-140 Airborne Telescope and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, a California Air National Guard C-130 Hercules transport, and a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter.

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to support activities like the Aero Expo series,” said Robert Jacobsen, manager for NASA’s Airspace Systems Program. “Events like these help spark the desire and imagination in students that will lead to the development of new aerospace technologies for the next 100 years.”

NASA’s Airspace Systems Program benefits air travelers by conducting air traffic control research that allows more air travelers to fly safely and efficiently across the country. NASA Ames Research Center has been a leader in air traffic control research and development since the mid-1980s.

For more information about Aero Expo VI, visit:

More information about NASA’s Airspace Systems Program is available at:

For more information about the Computing, Information, Communications Technologies Program, visit:

Jonas Dino/ Victoria Steiner
Dec. 4, 2003
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612, 650/604-0176 or 650/604-9000