Five aviation stories to know about: Dayton Business

Whether it’s cutting-edge research or time-tested manufacturing, there was plenty of aviation-related news from in and around Dayton in the past week.

Here are five stories you may have missed.

1. UDRI wins a big Air Force award.

Staff Writer Barrie Barber reported Friday that the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) received a seven-year, $43 million Air Force contract to develop non-metal materials for airplanes, spacecraft and ground vehicles.

Researchers at UDRI and at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will investigate adhesives, sealants, elastomers, textiles, and composites, among other materials, according to UDRI spokeswoman Pamela Gregg.

Read more about the work here.

2. How to thrive in business for 100 years? Ask these guys.

Hartzell Propeller is a small aircraft propeller manufacturer anchored in a small town, relying on a time-tested formula has worked quite well for the Piqua company.

Joseph Brown, Hartzell president, told Business Writer Thomas Gnau that the company’s staying power has a lot to do with its self-reliant workforce, exhibiting what he called a problem-solving “farm mentality on steroids.”

Read about Hartzell’s 100th anniversary here.

3. Your community’s national park may soon get bigger. 

Did you know that the site of the world’s first productive airplane factory is only minutes away on West Third Street near Home Avenue?

A non-profit group, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, is negotiating with brownfield developers for purchase of the former Wright Airplane Co. factory, and dozens of acres of related property, in that area.

The idea is to secure the property, then sell it to the federal government to become part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

Read more about the plans taking shape.

4. And that park’s superintendent has retired.

Dean Alexander, superintendent at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, has been a friendly, familiar face to park visitors and aviation buffs since his appointment in 2009.

On Friday he began a well-earned retirement. Read about it. 

5. See the Wright Brothers at work — sort of

Finally, photographer and aviation enthusiast Dan Patterson was asked give people a sense of what it was like to watch the inventors of controlled, powered flight breaking new ground.

To that end, a first life-sized photo stands at Huffman Prairie, showing the brothers leaning on one of their flying machines next to a replica of the shed that held the machine.

Read more about the project.

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