OSHKOSH, WI -- A replica of the Wright brothers' first production airplane, the Wright "B" Flyer, will make its North American public flying debut during the 2009 EAA AirVenture fly-in at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The 57th annual edition of EAA AirVenture will be held July 27 through Aug. 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The "Silver Bird" replica was built by Dayton, Ohio-based Wright "B" Flyer Inc., which already owns two other look-alikes of the Wright brothers' first production airplane. The group constructed the airplane to be a flying aircraft that would detail Dayton's aviation heritage as the hometown of the Wrights.
"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," says 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 aircraft is scheduled to begin flight testing early this year and perhaps take part in aviation festivities this summer in Europe before coming to Oshkosh. A possible event in Reims, France, would commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gordon Bennett Cup, often regarded as the first major air race in history.
The Wright "B" Flyer group launched the Silver Bird project in 2007 with the intent of creating 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 Wrights' design.
The aircraft was dubbed the "Silver Bird" because of its silver-painted frame and white fabric, and it made its static display debut last October at the annual National Business Aircraft Association convention in Orlando, FL.
"It will truly be a global ambassador for Dayton," says 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."
The Wright B Flyer appearance will be one of the highlights of EAA's activities commemorating 100 years of air racing during EAA AirVenture 2009. Additional details of the Wright B Flyer's activities and other racing aircraft will be announced as they are finalized.
Fly-in convention will represent the entire spectrum of flight.
Space carrier vehicle, Airbus, Wright Flyer replica and more will be on display in Wisconsin later this month.
57th annual fly-in convention takes place July 27-Aug. 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI.