Authority on Wright Brothers to Give Special Presentation at NBAA 56th Annual Meeting and Convention

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Washington, DC, August 12, 2003 – The chief historian and interpreter at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Darrell M. Collins, will give a special presentation on October 7, 2003, during the Opening General Session of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 56th Annual Meeting & Convention, to be held October 7 to 9 at the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Darrell Collins is widely acknowledged as one of the top five authorities on the Wright brothers and early aviation history. In addition to his work at the National Park Service, Collins engages audiences nationwide with his lectures on the Wright brothers, and he has authored numerous articles on the topic. To honor his lifelong dedication to the Wright brothers’ legacy, he was named the 2003 recipient of North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is presented to individuals who have a proven record of service to the State of North Carolina.

In addition to Collins, the Opening General Session also will feature the following keynote speakers: FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey and U.S. Representative John L. Mica (R-FL 7th), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. The Opening General Session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7 in the auditorium above the main entrance of OCCC Hall C. Complimentary Florida orange juice and croissants will be served from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention will feature close to 30,000 Attendees, 1,000 Exhibitors, 75 Informational Sessions and 135 aircraft on Static Display at Orlando Executive Airport.

To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first powered, manned flight, on display will be the most authentic replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Under special arrangements by Eclipse Aviation, EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk exhibit, presented by Ford Motor Company, will be on display inside OCCC Exhibit Hall C. Additional sponsors include the Experimental Aircraft Association, Eclipse Aviation, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Northrop Grumman and NBAA. Also on display will be vintage aircraft simulators and authentic artifacts provided by the Franklin Institute.

For more information about the NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention or to register, visit Visit EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk web site at

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,300 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

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