Constructing the Wright B Flyer at
the 2008 NBAA convention.
An overhead of the Wright B Flyer
construction in 2008.
A replica of the Wright brothers' 1909
Wright "B" Flyer will make its North American public flying
debut during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. The replica, dubbed the
"Silver Bird" for its silver-painted frame and white fabric,
was built by Dayton, Ohio-based Wright "B" Flyer Inc. It was
the Wrights' first production airplane and helped ignite the air racing
era 100 years ago.
The aircraft is scheduled to begin
flight-testing in the coming months and may participate in aviation
festivities this summer in Europe before coming to Oshkosh. One
tentative event in Reims, France, would commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the Gordon Bennett Cup, often regarded as the first major
air race in history.
"To see an early model Wright Flyer
take to the sky above Oshkosh this summer is a very exciting and
historic opportunity for AirVenture participants," said Tom
Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "The volunteer
effort involved in creating the airplane is also something that speaks
well to EAA members and their own spirit of flight. We are very much
looking forward to this aircraft joining us at EAA AirVenture, where you
can see something you have not seen before."
The Wright "B" Flyer group
launched the Silver Bird project in 2007 aiming to create a replica
aircraft that could be shipped internationally for exhibition flights.
The design used steel frames, wooden wing ribs and fabric covering.
Modern technology allowed such advancements as engineering software and
laser cutting and machining tools. The finished airplane is stressed for
3.8 positive Gs while maintaining the original appearance of the
The project was on static display last
October at the annual National Business Aircraft Association convention
in Orlando, Florida.
"It will truly be a global ambassador for Dayton," said Amanda
Wright Lane, the Wright brothers' grandniece and a trustee of Wright
"B" Flyer Inc. "There is not a single artifact you can
hold, or place you can visit, or document you can read that equals
seeing a Wright Flyer in the air."
Other activities commemorating 100 years
of air racing will be held during EAA AirVenture 2009. These and
additional details of the Wright B Flyer's appearance will be announced
as they are finalized.
For more information on the Wright B'
Flyer replica, visit www.wright-b-flyer.org.