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Donation Moves Wright “B” Flyer Closer to New Airplane
April 1, 2015 - When the one-of-a-kind replica Wright “B” Flyer heads to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 in July, it will take more than filing a flight plan. The modern lookalike of the Wright brothers’ first production airplane has short legs and is tiring to fly. So Wright “B” Flyer Inc. volunteers will laboriously disassemble the 3,400-pound biplane and carefully load it into a custom trailer so it can be hauled north. When it gets to Oshkosh the airplane will be reassembled for flight.
Transporting the next-generation Wright “B” Flyer will be a much simpler affair. The organization is designing another one-of-kind flyer, this one designed for easy disassembly and scaled to fit in a standard shipping container that will allow the nonprofit to show and display the airplane worldwide.
Wright “B” Flyer Inc. has received more than $100,000 towards its $300,000 fundraising goal for the project, with a challenge grant to match up to another $50,000. The fundraising campaign recently advanced with the donation of a steel container by Benedict Tractor and Containers Inc. (BEI) of Monroe, Ohio. Wright “B” Flyer Inc. estimates the donation saved it more than $4,000.
“This container is exactly what we will need to represent America’s aviation heritage across the country and overseas. We’re extremely grateful for BEI’s support,” Wright “B” Flyer President William J. “Jay” Jabour said.
Like the current “B,” the new airplane will resemble the 1910-era original but it will use modern materials and meet modern safety standards. It will be built at the original Wright Company factory in Dayton with support from the National Aviation Heritage Alliance and EAA. The factory is where the Wright brothers produced the first Model B flyers more than a century ago, launching America’s aviation industry.
In addition to the shipping container, Wright B Flyer’s “wish list” includes an engine, instruments, materials, tools, professional services, and volunteers.
Wright “B” Flyer Inc. is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that promotes Dayton’s aviation heritage by flying and displaying lookalikes of Wright Model B airplanes. It is based on Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Ohio, where its hangar-museum is open to the public at no charge from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Please visit www.wright-b-flyer.org for more information.