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October 8 , 2003
Centennial of Flight Festival Scheduled for Takeoff
Flight and Fun Punctuate a Two-Day Event with Exhibits, Performance Arts, Films and Flyovers at the California Science Center
A-12 Blackbird reconnaissance plane is part of the Science Center’s collection of aviation and spacecraft exhibits visitors will see at the Centennial of Flight Festival. Photo by Leroy Hamilton.
Los Angeles – The California Science Center invites the public to celebrate the first 100 years of powered flight at the Centennial of Flight Festival November 15 & 16, 2003 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival, which is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, will offer something for everyone – from children to air and space enthusiasts – and is one of many events taking place across the country to commemorate the historic 1903 flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Festival activities will take place in the Science Center main building, in its Air and Space Gallery and along State Drive, lined with colorful booths from cultural, community and business organizations, as well as a food court. Festival highlights will include:

Microsoft 1903 Wright Flyer Simulator – Would-be pilots can take to the virtual skies in a simulator designed to recreate the historic flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Using a hand lever and a shifting hip mechanism, visitors will control virtual takeoffs and landings in front of a giant panoramic projection screen, with technology developed for “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight,” a 20th anniversary product from Microsoft. The Science Center is one of nine museums selected nationwide to host this historically significant exhibit.

“Atmospheric” Exhibits – Visitors will be able to see up-close the Science Center’s collection of air and space craft, including a newly restored flying replica 1902 Wright glider, the all-titanium A-12 Blackbird trainer, and the Northrop F-20 Tigershark. They can also view the Gemini 11 capsule flown by astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon and the Mercury MR-2 capsule that carried Ham, the chimpanzee.

“Precision” Performing Arts – The theme of flight will be interpreted by dance troupes, musicians, actors and storytellers reflecting the diverse cultures of Southern California at designated locations both inside and outside the Science Center.

“Flight-worthy” IMAX Films – Special screenings of the classic films To Fly!, and Silent Sky, plus crowd favorite Space Station 3D will be shown on the IMAX Theater’s seven-stories-high movie screen, where moviegoers feel as though they’re part of the action.

“Sky-high” Special Activities – Guests can look skyward for flyovers of vintage and military aircraft, and weather permitting, take tethered hot-air balloon rides to a lofty altitude of 50 feet!

In addition, there will be science demonstrations, make-and-take activities, face painting and historic aviation photographs.

Admission to the festival exhibits and performances is free. IMAX Theater tickets range in price from $4.50 to $7.50. There is a nominal charge for hot-air balloon rides, face-painting and food court fare. Guests can visit www.californiasciencecenter.org or call (323) SCIENCE (724-3623) for recorded information.

Editor's Note: The California Science Center, located at 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Enter visitor parking at 39th and Figueroa Streets; parking is $6 per car; $10 for buses or oversized vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible.

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