Wright Flyer centennial pilot to speak at Virginia Tech Feb. 23
Kevin Kochersberger, one of two Virginia Tech alumni who attempted to recreate the Wright brothers' first flight during the recent "100 Years of Flight Celebration," will speak about his experience at the university on Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. in Hancock Auditorium.
A licensed pilot and an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Kochersberger received all three of his mechanical engineering degrees from Virginia Tech. He worked with The Wright Experience on research and design of the 2003 reproduction of the Wright Flyer for the centennial celebration, and led testing of the replica at NASA's Langley Full Scale Tunnel in Virginia.
Kochersberger teamed with Virginia Tech animal science alumna Terry Queijo, an American Airlines pilot, to fly the reproduction of Orville and Wilbur Wright's four-cylinder glider at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 2003. The Virginia Tech graduates were selected for the centennial roles after being named Pilots of the Century by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Kochersberger won the coin toss to pilot the replica during the event.
Kochersberger's fascination with flying began at the age of 15 when he built a Rogallo-wing hang glider from plans and flew at Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head, N.C. He currently owns and operates a Piper Arrow and is an active member of the Blue Ridge Soaring Society in New Castle, Va.
In 1996, Kochersberger and a group of Rochester Institute students constructed and flew a replica of the 1896 Chanute-Herring hang glider. Their replica is now on display at the National Soaring Museum in Elmira, N.Y.