Historians may debate what marked the birth of the aerospace industry—but chances are that many would point to the Exposition Internationale de Locomotion Aerienne, which opened its doors on Sept. 25, 1909—less than six years after the Wright brothers made history at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The exhibition was the inspiration of a group of individuals who had the foresight to understand they were on the threshold of a fledgling industry. How else would you explain their audacious move around the ...

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