Speaking at the Dare County Tourism Board meeting Sept. 15, John Harris and Billy Vaughn shared concept plans for a Francis and Gertrude Rogallo Museum at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
The Rogallos invented the flexible wing in 1948, an invention that led to the popular sport of hang gliding.
Francis was an aeronautical engineer with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in Hampton, Virginia. The government’s lack of interest in its wing without rigid structures that maintained its airfoil shape in flight opened the door for the Rogallos to file for a patent in 1951.
In 1959, NASA’s best-known and most influential engineer, Wernher von Braun, saw Rogallo demonstrate a flexible-wing glider and immediately recognized the potential of using flexible wings to recover rocket engines to be reused. During the 1960s, the federal government spent over $150 million researching flexible wings for all kinds of applications.
Before long, astronauts were learning to fly flexible wings with the Gemini and Apollo programs originally intended to be picked up by what is now called a paraglider. But President John Kennedy’s schedule to get to the moon, coupled with booster rockets becoming too large and powerful for flexible wing recovery, led NASA to abandon the program.
This did not stop the wing’s interest or development.
Francis Rogallo conducted flexible wing experiments at Jockey’s Ridge in the late 1960s. By the early 1970s, hang gliding was a very popular sport. Soft sand and steady winds made Jockey’s Ridge the perfect place to fly.
When Francis retired from NASA in 1970, he and Gertrude moved to Southern Shores, making the Outer Banks their home. When a possible development threatened the dunes, Francis was part of the effort to save them.
Today, the flexible wing of the Rogallos has evolved into many different forms of flight, including hang gliders, paragliders, ultralights, delta kites, stunt kites, modern parachutes and stags. – kiteboard steering wheels.
Established in 1992, the mission of the non-profit Rogallo Foundation is to honor the Rogallos and preserve their archives, artifacts and research.
Part of this mission includes building a museum with educational opportunities using tangible objects for programs and exhibits to preserve and interpret the Rogallos story behind the invention and evolution of the wing flexible – and Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the perfect location for a museum to honor the Rogallos and their invention.
Giving a separate brief presentation, Becky Huff of the Dare County Tax Office explained to Board members many details about collecting taxes for short-term rentals from hotels, property management companies, online travel agencies and individual owners.
During his report, Board Treasurer Ervin Bateman said calendar year revenue shows August occupancy revenue of $2,025,876.87 for July increased by 27 % and that $40,729 for prepared meals was up 7% from the same period in 2021. Combined total calendar year revenue of $825,116.34 for both is up 12% from the same period in 2021. to the actual figures of the previous year.
Although June retail collections of $10,023.252 show a 1.4% decline for the month, year-to-date numbers are 6.55% higher than 2021 numbers.
In his report, Jamie Chisolm said the grants committee was faced with 18 grant applications for a total of $283,500. After careful consideration of the potential ROI and number of people an event will attract, the committee has recommended the following reward amounts:
● $5,000 – Beach Food Pantry Outer Banks Rum Festival, May/June 2023
● $4,500 – Dare County Arts Council Artrageous Kids Art Festival, May 13, 2023
● $6,000 – Dare County Arts Council Rock the Cape, May 31-June 2, 2023
● $11,500 – Dare County Motorsports Charity Group Spring OB Bike Week South, April 20-22, 2013
● $20,000 – Dare County Restaurant Association OBX Taste of the Beach, late March/early April 2023
● $12,500 – Eastern Surfing Association OBNC District ESA 2023 Mid-Atlantic Regional Surfing Championship, May 5-7, 2023
● $20,000 – Elizabethan Gardens Winter Lights, December 1-30, 2022
● $15,000 – First Flight Foundation Future of Electric Flight Expo, May 26, 2023
● $10,000 – OBX Rod & Custom Festival by Garage Band Charities, May 5-6, 2023
● $5,000 – Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund Shore Break 5K and Tide Pool Fun Run, May 29, 2023
● $2,500 – 2022 Manteo Preservation Trust Vacation Home Tour, December 1-3
● $1,000 – Outer Banks Conservationists Sheep Shearing Day and Spring Festival, April 15, 2023
● $1,000 – Outer Banks SPCA Bark in the Park, April 23, 2023
● $12,500 – Outer Banks Sporting Events Flying Pirate Half Marathon, April 21-23, 2023
● $12,500 – Outer Banks Sporting Events Outer Banks Triathlon, June 2-3, 2023
● $3,250 – Roanoke Island Historical Association Lost Colony Wine, Beer and Culinary Festival, April 14-15, 2023
● $20,000 – 2022 Midnight Magic in Manteo – NYE, December 31, 2022
● $3,500 – Town of Nags Head Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 19, 2023
Following the report, board members voted to approve the recommended grant amount.
There was also a full schedule of events noted on the Outer Banks event site at Nags Head:
■ Saturday September 17 – Sumospeed Beach Bash
■ Thursday September 22 to Saturday September 24 OBX Fall Bike Fest
■ From Friday, September 30 to Saturday, October 1 OBX Rod and Custom Fall Festival
■ From Friday October 7 to Sunday October 9 OBX Jeep Invasion
■ Saturday October 15 – Outer Banks Seafood Festival
■ Saturday October 22 – Brewtag Outer Banks
■ Saturday, October 29 – OBX World Music Fest, Halloween edition
The next regular meeting of the Dare County Tourism Board is scheduled for October 20 at 9 a.m. at the Manteo office. The November 17 meeting is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. in Buxton, provided the details can be ironed out.
READ MORE NEWS HERE.