On a frigid February day, there is no sanctuary from the biting winds at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Yet even as the Midwestern gusts whip across vast fields and over immense hangars, the US Air Force’s colossal C-17 Globemasters soar over the base with ease. As the gargantuan cargo aircraft circle overhead, it is difficult to imagine that 100 years ago, and just a few miles southwest at McCook field, researchers at the original incarnation of what is today the Air Force Research Laboratory were concocting plans to weaponise a wooden flying machine.
Registration gives you instant free access to FlightGlobal’s news, in-depth analysis, insight and opinion from our global team of experts, and access to our Flight International and Flight Airline Business online libraries.
You’ll only need to log in once to access FlightGlobal’s premium free content.