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FriAug 23

National Ride The Wind Day – August 23, 2024

The perfect blend of adventure and peace happens on National Ride The Wind Day on August 23. That is exactly what taking flight feels like. We have proven time and time again that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, and that includes flying too. The creation of human-powered flights dates back as far as 1923 and successful flights as far back as 1961. The concept has evolved tremendously ever since, and National Ride The Wind Day commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize.

History of National Ride The Wind Day

For a long time, the only species that could experience the weightless and peaceful feeling of flying or gliding were aerial animals. That was until humans started to crave that same feeling. Thus, introducing us to the concept of flight and Human Powered-Aircraft (H.P.A.s). These are aircraft belonging to the class of vehicles known as human-powered vehicles. Early attempts at human-powered flight were unsuccessful because of the difficulty of achieving the high power-to-weight ratio.

In 1904, the invention of a bicycle plane was documented, however, attempts made to fly this plane on July 30 of the same year failed. From that date until 1961, there were several attempts at human-powered flights that never quite made full flight rounds. Some of these aircraft were, Gerhardt Cycleplane, Zaschka Human-Power Aircraft, HV-1 Mufli, and Pedaliante.

The first official take-off and landing of a man-powered aircraft were made on November 9, 1961, by Southampton University’s Man Powered Aircraft (SUMPAC) at Lasham Airfield. After the Puffin 2 flight on August 27, 1965, less successful aircraft flew, until 1972 when the Woodford Essex Aircraft Group’s Jupiter flew about 0,8 miles in June.

The Royal Aeronautical Society’s ‘Man Powered Aircraft Group’ was formed in 1959 by the members of the Man Powered Group of the College of Aeronautics. Its title was changed from ‘Man’ to ‘Human’ in 1988 because of the many successful flights made by female pilots. Under the auspices of the Society, in 1973 the industrialist Henry Kremer offered the Kremer Prize of £50,000 for the first human-powered aircraft to fly a figure-of-eight course around two markers half a mile apart. On August 23, 1977, the Gossamer Condor 2 won the prize. National Ride The Wind Day was set in place to celebrate that.

National Ride The Wind Day timeline

The First Flight

The first officially authenticated take-off and landing of a man-powered aircraft are made by Southampton University's Man Powered Aircraft (SUMPAC).

It’s Official

The Royal Aeronautical Society's ‘Man Powered Aircraft Group’ is formed.

The First Big Wi

The Gossamer Condor 2 flies the first figure-eight and wins the first Kremer prize.

Women Matter Too

Its title is changed from ‘Man’ to ‘Human’ because of the many successful flights made by female pilots.

National Ride The Wind Day FAQs

What is National Ride the Wind Day?

It’s a day to commemorate the anniversary of the first human-powered flight, which won the Kremer prize.

What does ride the wind mean?

To live without direction, or without any specific goals, or to be able to accomplish nearly limitless achievements.

What is the main cause of wind movement?

The wind is the movement of air, caused by the uneven heating of the earth by the sun and the earth’s own rotation.

National Ride The Wind Day Activities

  1. Take flight

    Today serves as the perfect day to finally take those flight lessons you’ve been postponing. Not down for that much adventure? You could just book a short trip as a passenger of a glider and enjoy all the beautiful sights.

  2. Visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

    You can see exactly what the Kramer-winning aircraft looks like. This wonderful piece of preserved history is an amazing sight. There are also lots of other exhibitions you can find at the Smithsonian, and they have great online exhibits as well.

  3. Do anything that gets the wind in your hair

    Take your bike out, head to the amusement park, go skateboarding, run like the wind or go water skiing. Whatever it is, do it to get the wind flowing and your heart pumping.

5 Facts About Flying That May Surprise You

  1. It changes your taste buds

    According to the folks at JetBlue, the difference in air pressure and the low humidity in a plane's cabin make it more difficult for your taste buds to register sweet and salty flavors.

  2. Oxygen is limited

    In-flight oxygen masks aren't intended to last the whole flight.

  3. Air pollution harms more than crashes

    According to a study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, airplane emissions are linked to 8,000 deaths each year, while the number of people killed in plane crashes is less than 1,000.

  4. Laser tag is not an option

    According to 18 U.S. Code Section 39A, if you point a laser pointer at a plane or its flight path, you can enjoy up to five years in prison for thinking about what you've done.

  5. It is the safest way to get around

    In 2017, there were zero deaths related to commercial aircraft accidents. By comparison, during the same year, 40,100 people died in car accidents in the United States alone.

Why We Love National Ride The Wind Day

  1. Flying is fun

    There’s no denying that flying is one of the most euphoric feelings to have. We envy the birds every day for effortlessly having that advantage, and human-powered aircraft gave us the opportunity to experience that feeling.

  2. It lets us know the impossible can be made possible

    Flying was an activity that was once considered impossible by humans. National Ride The Wind Day goes a step further in letting us know we can reach even the greatest heights within those impossibilities, with the celebration of one of the most impossible aviation tasks at the time.

  3. It pushes us out of our comfort zone

    The act of flying is one a lot of people have a distinct fear of or major anxieties over. Having an opportunity to break out of that fear and taking flight pushes us out of our comfort zone.

National Ride The Wind Day dates

2024August 23Friday
2025August 23Saturday
2026August 23Sunday
2027August 23Monday
2028August 23Wednesday

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