December 15, 2014 - EAA and its members have been invited to support the construction of a “new” Wright brothers aircraft on the site of the brothers’ original Wright Company factory in Dayton, Ohio. The aircraft project will be designed and built to modern airworthiness standards but resemble the famed Wright Model B, which was the brothers’ first factory-produced airplane in 1910.
William J. “Jay” Jabour, president of the Wright “B” Flyer Inc. organization, made the announcement at EAA’s annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet in Oshkosh on Friday, December 12. The airplane project meshes with the missions of both the Wright “B” Flyer and EAA organizations.
“Wilbur and Orville Wright were America’s first airplane homebuilders, so I can’t think of a better way to honor their legacy than to build a modern version of their first production airplane in their own factory, with the help of EAA members around the world,” said Jabour, who is also an EAA member (EAA 1014225) and aircraft builder.
To help promote the project, the Wright “B” Flyer replica built in 1982 – known as the Brown Bird – will be displayed and flown at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 in July.
“The opportunity to support this Wright ‘B’ Flyer project in a way that involves EAA members was something that created instant enthusiasm,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs. “The excitement of seeing this historic aircraft as it takes shape and flies is a highlight for all of us.”
Assembling the airplane inside the Wright Company factory will also raise awareness of efforts to acquire and restore the factory as a unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright formed the Wright Company in 1909 and built the factory’s two buildings in 1910 and 1911. The factory produced approximately 120 airplanes, most of them Model Bs, by the time Orville sold the company in 1915. General Motors Corp. eventually converted the buildings to automotive parts production, and the buildings became a part of the Delphi Home Avenue plant, which shut down in 2008.
More details, including how the skills and expertise of EAA members and chapters can specifically support the project, will be made public as they are finalized.
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 Wright-B-Flyer.org for more information.