News, Plane of the Week March 6, 2017

Wright 1903 Flyer
3/4 scale Replica

Hill Aerospace Museum has a 3/4 scale 1903 Wright Flyer. The Wright Flyer was born on December 17, 1903 at the Kill Devil Hills Sand dunes on the barrier island of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina when Orville and Wilbur Wright changed the face of aviation and world history by creating the first airplane.

The Wright brothers began researching and investigating the issues associated with manned flight in a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. In 1899 the Wright brothers built the first glider for flight testing at Kitty Hawk. The conditions were ideal because the coastal winds were strong and relatively constant. It was soon revealed that the properties of lift and drag on the existing statistical tables were inaccurate so the Wright brothers created a wind tunnel to determine the forces that operated on a wing of an aircraft during flight.

This research allowed the brothers to make rapid advancements in the glider designs which allowed a plan to surface for a motorized, manned aircraft. The Wright brothers were unable to obtain an American-built engine for the purpose, so they designed and built their own 4-cylinder aircraft motor with help from machinist Charles E. Taylor.

The Hill Aerospace Museum’s Wright 1903 Flyer replica was donated to the museum in May 2003.

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