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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS Feed1909 Wright Model 'B' Replica to Fly at Oshkosh

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 Wrights' design.

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.


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