Darrell Collins, Historian at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, NC, will deliver the 40th Ralph S. Barnaby Lecture on Saturday, October 22, 2011. It will be held in the Visitors Center at the Memorial, and will be part of SOARING100, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Orville Wright’s 19ll flight that lasted 9 minutes and 45 seconds and is regarded as the first soaring flight. The subject of Collins’s lecture will be “A Legacy of Greatness: The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk.”
Collins has worked with the National Park Service in the division of interpretation and education for 32 years, serving the majority of his time at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. He is a popular speaker on the aviation/aerospace lecture circuit, author of numerous articles and consulting editor for playwrights and authors on early aviation and the Wright brothers.
In 2003, the National Aeronautic Association awarded him the Paul Tissandier Diploma for his career of service to aeronautics and airports.
Collins resides in Manteo, on Roanoke Island. His family has lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for 149 years, his great-grandparents having been members of the black Freedmen Colony that settled on Roanoke Island in 1862 during the Civil War.
The National Soaring Museum initiated the Barnaby Lectures in 1973, as addresses attuned to historic and noteworthy achievements in motorless flight. They are named in memory of soaring pioneer Ralph S. Barnaby, who held U.S. Glider Pilot Certificate No. 1, signed by his friend Orville Wright. He helped form the Soaring Society of America in 1932, and died in 1986 at the age of 93, leaving to the Museum an extensive collection of books, papers and artifacts, as well as a substantial financial bequest.