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Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills beach guard tower, north of the Wright Memorial
Kill Devil Hills beach guard tower, north of the Wright Memorial
Official seal of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Birthplace of Aviation
Location in Dare County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Dare County and the state of North Carolina.
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Dare
Incorporated 1953
Named for Unwholesome rum
 • Total 5.67 sq mi (14.69 km2)
 • Land 5.62 sq mi (14.55 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total 6,683
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,305.27/sq mi (503.97/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 252
FIPS code 37-35720
GNIS feature ID 1025849

Kill Devil Hills is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,683 at the 2010 census, up from 5,897 in 2000. It is the most populous settlement in both Dare County and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Kill Devil Hills Micropolitan Statistical Area is part of the larger Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC Combined Statistical Area.

The town is home to the site of the Wright brothers' first controlled, powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903, chosen for its good winds. The town was commemorated by the Wright Brothers National Memorial, which was dedicated in 1932. At the time of the Wright Flyer flights the town of Kill Devil Hills did not exist, and it did not receive its municipal charter until 1953. Kitty Hawk, popularly noted as the site of the famous flights, is approximately four miles (6 km) to the north, and was the nearest settlement at the time of the famous flight.


Kill Devil Hills is the site of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, commemorating the siblings' four powered airplane flights of Thursday, December 17, 1903. Orville returned in 1911, and on October 25 he set a new world glider record, remaining in the air 10 minutes and 34 seconds, soaring against the wind with very little forward movement.

In addition to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Sam's Diner was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.


Kill Devil Hills is located at 36°1′32″N 75°40′12″W / 36.02556°N 75.67000°W / 36.02556; -75.67000 (36.025448, −75.670105), on the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14 km2), of which, 5.5 square miles (14 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.36%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 268
1970 357 33.2%
1980 1,796 403.1%
1990 4,238 136.0%
2000 5,897 39.1%
2010 6,683 13.3%
2019 (est.) 7,333 9.7%

2020 census

Kill Devil Hills racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 6,478 84.61%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 86 1.12%
Native American 25 0.33%
Asian 84 1.1%
Other/Mixed 324 4.23%
Hispanic or Latino 659 8.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 7,656 people, 3,170 households, and 1,809 families residing in the town.


Wright First Flight 1903Dec17 (full restore 115)
In 1903 the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane, the Wright Flyer, from land now part of Kill Devil Hills

First Flight Airport (IATA: FFAICAO: KFFAFAA LID: FFA) is a public use airport which is owned by the National Park Service (NPS), and located one mile west of Kill Devil Hills.

First Flight Airport covers an area of 40 acres at an elevation of 13 feet (4 metres) above mean sea level. It has one runway; designated 2/20, with an asphalt surface measuring 3,000 by 60 feet (914 by 18 metres). For the 12-month period ending August 19, 2009, the airport had 38,120 aircraft operations, an average of 104 per day: 97% general aviation, 3% air taxi, and <1% military.

The airport is notable for being the site of hundreds of pre-flight gliding experiments carried out by the Wright brothers. The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission chose First Flight Airport as one of the stops for the National Air Tour 2003.

Popular culture

  • The 2006 album "Black Hole, Blank Canvas" by Norwegian band Motorpsycho contains a track named "Kill Devil Hills".
  • In March 2011, it was announced that bass guitarist Rex Brown (Pantera) and drummer Vinny Appice (Heaven & Hell, Black Sabbath, Dio) had formed a new band called Kill Devil Hill.
  • The 2005 heavy metal album Tyranny of Souls by Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson features a track named "Kill Devil Hill". The song is about the flight made by the Wright brothers.
  • In the 1996 R.E.M. song "So Fast, So Numb" from the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi, the lyrics mention Kill Devil Hills.
  • The Clutch song "Four Lords (And One More)" from Slow Hole to China mentions Kill Devil Hills in its lyrics.
  • Rappers Ill Bill and DJ Muggs have an album entitled "Kill Devil Hills" released in 2010
  • Dennis Anderson, driver of the Grave Digger monster truck in the Monster Jam touring series, also makes his home in Kill Devil Hills.
  • The Diane Chamberlain book 'Summers Child' is set in Kill Devil Hills.


Kill Devil Hills is home to the Outer Banks Daredevils of the Tidewater Summer League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Daredevils play at First Flight Baseball Complex on Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills. The team, founded in 1997, began play in Kill Devil Hills in 2005.


It is within Dare County Schools.

First Flight Elementary School and First Flight Middle School are in Kill Devil Hills, just south of the Monument. Kill Devil Hills is also served by First Flight High School. The school first opened on Tuesday, August 17, 2004, to 800 students. Previously, high school students from Kill Devil Hills attended Manteo High School.

Some portions of Kill Devil Hills are zoned to Nags Head Elementary instead of First Flight Elementary. Previously Kitty Hawk Elementary School served areas north of Collington Road/Ocean Bay Bridge while First Flight Elementary served points south. Boundaries changed when Nags Head Elementary opened in 2005.

Dare County Library has a branch in Kill Devil Hills.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kill Devil Hills (Carolina del Norte) para niños

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