Today, The Wright Flyer can be found at the National Air and Space Museum in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. They describe the aircraft as “the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard.”
The Wright Flyer marks the beginning of the pioneer era of aviation.
Years prior to the first successful launch, the Wright brothers were testing gliders, and their last glider directly led to the design of the Flyer.
The Wrights used spruce for their construction material. At the time, existing automobile engines could not fit their needs, so they had to employ the help of Charlie Taylor to build one from scratch. Taylor built a 12-horsepower gasoline engine. The propellers were built by hand and borrowed bicycle chain technology, each rotating in opposite directions to increase handling.
Just as in the gliders, a pilot flew lying on his stomach on the lower left wing and steered by moving a cradle attached to his hips.
It should be no surprise that model airplane collectors are also huge history buffs. Afterall, the historical context to each model is what gives them value.
Someone looking to step into the world of aviation model collecting should look no further than the Wright Flyer as their first model. What better way to start your journey than the aircraft that began the “pioneer era” of aviation?
Site last updated 15. January 2021