Wright Brother’s Aeroplane’s – 1903 to 1916

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Wright Brother’s Aeroplane’s – 1903 to 1916
A brief description and photos of the 20 powered aircraft designed and built by Wilbur and / or Orville Wright.

1903 Flyer 1

The Wrights first tried to launch their Flyer on December 14, 1903. Unfamiliar with the controls, Wilbur turned the Flyer up too sharply on takeoff and it stalled.

he Wright Brothers first powered aircraft; the first in which anyone made a sustained, controlled flight. As in their earlier gliders, it had a variable-camber twin canard in front to control pitch and a twin rudder in back to control yaw. Roll was controlled by warping the wings. After a failed attempt on 14 Dec 1903 by Wilbur, the Wrights flew the world's first powered airplane at Kitty Hawk on 17 Dec 1903. Beginning at 10:35 AM, Orville flew it about 120-feet (in about 12 seconds), Wilbur, about 175 feet; Orville, about 200 feet, and, about 12:00 PM, Wilbur flew it 852 feet in 59 seconds. This biplane had 40.3-foot span; 0.83-foot anhedral; 6.5-foot chord; 6.2-foot separation; 510 sq-foot area; 1/20 camber; 48 sq-foot double horizontal front rudder; 21 sq-foot twin movable vertical rear rudders; 21.1-foot overall length; and weighed 605 lb. The right wing was 4 inches longer to compensate for extra weight of engine. 2

The damage was quickly repaired, and Orville Wright made the first successful flight of 120 feet on December 17, 1903.

This was the only aircraft the Wrights tried to preserve. Damaged by wind after 4th flight, they returned it to Dayton; Orville sent it to Science Museum in London in 1928; since 1949 the Smithsonian has displayed it as the world's first piloted powered airplane. The plaque reads: "THE ORIGINAL WRIGHT BROTHERS AEROPLANE: The world's first powerdriven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled and sustained flight invented and built by Wilbur and Orville Wright flown by them at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina December 17, 1903 by original scientific research the Wright Brothers discovered the principles of human flight as inventors, builders, and flyers they further developed the aeroplane, taught man to fly, and opened the era of aviation." References: • • McFarland, 1953, pp , 394-397, 1183, plates 60, 63-78. McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, pp 394-397, 1183, plates 60, 63-78. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1904 Flyer 2

Like the 1903 Flyer, the 1904 Flyer was launched from a rail. Beginning in September 1904, the Wrights used a "catapult" -- a weight dropped from a derrick -- to help get the Flyer airborne.

he Wright Brother second powered aircraft, almost a copy of the Flyer 1, with which they learned they still had a lot of work to do before they had a practical airplane. It was also the first aircraft on which the Wrights used their distinctive "bent-end" propellers.

The 1904 Flyer was not a stable aircraft. It had a tendency to pitch up and down and often the Wrights could not stop it from turning once it began. Consequently, most flights were short.

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Using no parts from Flyer 1, the Wrights built a biplane almost identical to it, but heavier (925 lb. including the pilot and 70-90 lb. iron bars attached to front elevator and shifted motor to improve center of mass). They decreased the camber from 1/20 to 1/25 on this plane only. During 23 May to 1 Dec 1904, the Wrights attempted to fly or flew a total of 105 times at Huffman Prairie, eight miles east of Dayton, OH. Without the high winds of Kitty Hawk, the Wrights had great difficulty getting off the ground in Dayton. Beginning 7 Sep 1904, Wrights used a catapult to launch plane in calm wind. This "catapult" was actually a wooden derrick, 20 feet high, which dropped a 1200- to 1400-pound weight. The weight was attached to a rope. The rope stretched down the derrick, under the launching rail, and back to the trolley on which the Flyer travelled. When the weight fell, the rope pulled the trolley and the Flyer quickly along the rail. The Wright made 105 flights in 1904, racking up 45 minutes in total flight time. The two best flights (9 Nov and 1 Dec) exceeded 5 minutes and about 3 miles (almost four circles of the field). The wooden parts were burned in 1905; the mechanical parts were recycled on the Flyer 3 References: • • • • McFarland, 1953, p 1183, plates 79-86. Wright, Orville in Kelly, 1953, p 45. McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1183, plates 79-86. Wright, Orville, "How We Invented the Airplane." (from depositions in Montgomery vs. U.S. 13 Jan 20 and 2 Feb 21; in Kelly, Fred C. (editor) How We Invented the Airplane, an Illustrated History. Dover Publications, New York, 1953, p 45) [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

1905 Flyer 3

The 1905 Flyer 3 over Huffman Prairie. Few, if any, photos were taken of this aircraft close-up. The Wrights needed photos to prove they had flown, but they didn't want potential competitors to see how their plane was constructed.

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he Wright's 1905 aircraft, their third powered machine, was the world's first practical aircraft. Both the canard and the rudder were extended out from the aircraft to make it easier to control. Semi-circular "blinkers" between the surfaces of the canard prevent the nose from dropping in a turn. Orville first flew the original Flyer 3 on 23 Jun 1905. Flyer 3 had a new airframe, but used the propulsion system (see 1904 motor) from the Flyer 2, and was essentially the same design and same marginal performance as the Flyers 1 and 2. When rebuilding the Flyer 3 after a severe crash on 14 Jul 1905, the Wrights made radical changes to the design. They almost doubled the size of elevator and rudder and moved them about twice the distance from the wings. The added two fixed vertical vanes (called "blinkers") between the elevators, and gave the wings a very slight dihedral. They disconnected the rudder of re-built Flyer 3 from the wing warp control, and as in all future aircraft, placed it on a separate control handle. On 5 Oct 1905, Wilbur flew 24 miles in 39.5 minutes, longer than the total duration of all the flights of 1903 and 1904. Four days later, they wrote to the Secretary of War, offering to sell the world's first practical airplane. The rebuilt Flyer 3 had: 40.5-foot span; 6.5-foot chord; 6-foot separation; 503 sq-foot area; 1/20 camber; 83 sqfoot double horizontal front rudder ; 34.8 sq-foot twin movable vertical rear rudders; 28-foot overall length; and weighed 710 lb. Disassembled on 7 Nov 1905, they refurbished it as the 1908 prototype flown at Kitty Hawk in 6-14 May 1908; abandoned there for three years; restored in 1947-1950, Carillon Park in Dayton, OH now displays it at Wright Hall.

Flyer 3 being restored in 1947, under the supervision of Orville Wright.

References: • • • McFarland, 1953, pp 514, 524, 1190-1192, plates 87-96, 236. Wright, Orville in Kelly, 1953, p 46. McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, pp 514,524, 1190-1192, plates 87-96, 236. 6

Wright, Orville, "How We Invented the Airplane." (from depositions in Montgomery vs. U.S. 13 Jan 20 and 2 Feb 21; in Kelly, Fred C. (editor) How We Invented the Airplane, an Illustrated History. Dover Publications, New York, 1953, p 46) [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

The 1905 Wright Flyer 3 as it looks today in Carillon Park, Dayton, Ohio.

1907-1909 Wright Model A
A Wright Model A Military Flyer ready for takeoff at Fort Meyer in 1908.

his was the aircraft that convinced the world that the Wrights had indeed flown. It was also the first two-seat aircraft, and the first Wright aircraft in which the occupants sat upright.
A Model A flying over Fort Myers in 1908.

The world's first production airplane, the Wrights produced variations of the Model A from 1907-1909. Wilbur flew the first one on 8 Aug 1908 in France and later in Italy and at Governor's Island in New York in Oct 1909. Orville flew A Models at Ft Myer in Sep 1908 (killing Lt. Selfridge in the crash of 17 Sep 1908 due to loss of control when a propeller blade broke), Germany in 1909, and Montgomery, AL in 1910. 7

A Model A taking off from Huffman Prairie in 1910.

Model A biplanes had 41-foot span; 6.5-foot chord; 6-foot separation; 510 sq-foot area; 1/20 camber; 70 sqfoot double horizontal front rudder; 23 sq-foot twin movable vertical rear rudders; 31-foot overall length; and weighed 800 pounds. They had a 4-cylinder vertical engine and the peculiar single warp/rudder control between the two seats that left seat pilots operated with their right hand and right seat pilots operated with their left hand. References: • • McFarland, 1953, p 1193-1195, plates 151, 165. McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1193-1195. Plate 151 shows Wilbur flying in France. Plate 165 shows crash that killed Selfridge. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1909 Military Flyer
lightly smaller and faster that the Model A, the Wrights sold this aircraft to the United States Army Signal Corp to become the first military aircraft.

Orville and Wilbur ready the 1909 Military Flyer for a flight at Fort Myer.

The U.S. Army purchased this, its first airplane, for $25,000 plus $5,000 bonus after Orville exceeded the 40 mph speed requirement with Lt. Lahm as passenger. Similar to the Model A, the Wrights built this aircraft with smaller wings to pass the Army's speed test. This biplane had 36.5-foot span; 5.8-foot chord; 5-foot separation; 415 square-foot area; 80 sq-foot double horizontal front rudder ; 16 square-foot twin movable vertical rear rudders; 28.9-foot overall length; and weighed 735 lb. Wilbur flew it to train the first Army pilots, Lahm and Humphries at College Park, MD in Oct 1909. During this training, Wilbur experimented with a horizontal surface in the rear of the aircraft to increase pitch stability, as Orville was doing in Germany. These experiments would eventually lead to the Model B. In 1910, Lt. Benjamin Foulois took it to Ft Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX, and learned to fly it by correspondence with the Wrights. In the summer of 1910, Foulois installed the first wheels on a Wright airplane. In Aug 1910, the Wrights built a better wheel system that they then used on all their airplanes. The Wrights restored the airplane in May 1911 for permanent display at the Smithsonian on 20 Oct 1911. References: • • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "he papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1195-1196, plates 183-191. Chandler, Charles deForest and Lahm, Frank P., "How our Army Grew Wings." Ronald Press Co., New York, 1943, p 183 [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 9

1909-1910 Wright "Transitional" Model A

ometimes called the Model A-B, this was the first airplane that the Wrights built with an elevator in the back. However, they retained the canard in front, using both surfaces to control the pitch of the aircraft.

Orville tests a Model A-B with a dual elevator -- one in front, another in back.

While flying in Germany in the fall of 1909, Orville Wright added a fixed horizontal surface behind the twin tail rudders of a standard Model A, improving the longitudinal or pitch stability of the aircraft. Orville next replaced the fixed rear surface with a flexible elevator, giving the airplane an elevator in the front and rear, a configuration very much like Curtiss and Farman aircraft at the time. The Wrights experimented with this configuration through the early part of 1910. They began to reduce the size of the canard and eliminated one of the canard surfaces. As the canard shrank, the aircraft became more stable. In mid-1910, the Wright eliminated the canard altogether and created the Model B -- the first Wright aircraft with a now traditional tail. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1183. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1910-1914 Model B
uilt by the newly formed Wright Company, this was the first mass-produced airplane. It was also the first Wright airplane without a canard. It had a single elevator in the back, just behind an enlarged twin rudder. Triangular blinkers were mounted on the forward skid struts. The airplane rested on wheels, dispensing with the need to launch the aircraft from a rail. Like all previous Wright aircraft, it used wing warping to control roll.

Rolling out an early Model B in 1910.

The Model B was the first inherently stable Wright machine, with the center of gravity ahead of the airplane’s neutral point, thus giving it longitudinal static stability, something that all of its predecessors had lacked. Initially called the "headless Wright" because the familiar front canard was absent, the Model B had a 38.5-foot span; 6.2-foot chord; 5.3-foot separation; 1/20 camber; 500 sq-foot area; 40 sq-foot single flexible rear elevator; 15 sq-foot twin movable vertical rear rudders; 28-foot overall length; and weighed 1,250 lb. Engine: One water-cooled four-cylinder 28-42 hp vertical inline of 240 cubic in. displacement. The rear elevator giving it better longitudinal stability distinguished this aircraft from earlier Wright biplanes. It was also used for early Wright hydro experiments.
Four Cylinder 28-42

References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1183. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 11

1910 Wright Model R and 1910 Baby Grand

lso called the "Roadster" and the "Baby Wright," this small single-seat aircraft was built for racing. It had an 8-cylinder motor and could achieve speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. The Wrights built this miniature version of a Model EX biplane for Alec Ogilvie to fly in the Gordon Bennett air race at Belmont Park, NY, in Oct 1910. It had 26.5-foot span; 3.5-foot chord; 3.5foot separation; 180 sq-foot area; and weighed 750 lb. It had a large V-8 motor which weighed about 300 pounds, had 481 cubic inches displacement, and produced 50-60 horsepower. It used the same cylinders and many other components of the standard vertical 4-cylinder engines.
Wright Model R

The Wright Team brought their own Model R to this same race, an even smaller version (21-foot span), called the "Baby Grand." Orville test-flew it more than 70 mph on 25 Oct 1910. Later, on 29 Oct, company pilot Walter Brookins crashed it after the engine quit, keeping it out of the race

Orville Wright in the "Baby Grand", a smaller Wright Model R, at Belmont, New York in 1910. This plane crashed at Belmont, but it was later rebuilt and used for exhibition flights.

References: • • • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, pp 1199, 1216-1217, plates 210 and 229. Hobbs, Leonard S., "The Wright Brothers' Engines and Their Design." Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1971, pp 47-48. Lippincott, Harvey H., "Propulsion System of the Wright Brothers." In Wolko, Howard S. (editor), "The Wright Flyer, an Engineering Perspective." The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987, p 89. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 12

1911-1912 Wright Model EX
uilt especially for exhibition flight, this aircraft had a shorter wing span than other models, which gave the exhibition pilots more speed. It also had a single seat, which prevented them from taking passengers. This was a followon to the Model R, using longer wings and a standard Wright 4cylinder or 6-cylinder motor. This was the first aircraft to be flown across a continent.
Cal Rodgers with his Wright Model EX, the Vin Fiz, in 1911.

The "EX" stood for "exhibition." This was a small, fast, single-seat airplane the Wrights built for exhibition flying. Although it's often said the Model EX was a single-seat Model B, this is not true. The airframe was patterned after the 1910 Model R, but the wings were lengthened and it used a standard Wright motor with either 4 or 6 cylinders. The EX had a 32-foot span; 5-foot chord; 21.5-foot length; and weighed about 903 lb. With the 4cylinder motor, it could fly 55 mph; with a 6-cylinder motor, the EX could exceed 60 mph. The Wrights built a special Model EX, called the Vin Fiz, for Cal Rodgers. This was the first airplane to fly across the U.S. Sponsored by a grape-flavoured soft drink called Vin Fiz, Cal Rodgers started on 17 Sep 1911 at Sheepshead Bay on Long Island, NY, landed in Pasadena, CA on 5 Nov 1911. Later Rogers flew on to Long Beach. The Vin Fiz was flown in exhibition flights until 1914; then it was destroyed in 1916. In 1927, the Carnegie Institute built a clone from odds and ends of Wright airplanes, including a few remaining pieces of the original Vin Fiz. This was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1933, where it was completely rebuilt using Wright construction procedures.
This replica of the Vin Fiz, which includes a few parts of the original, now hangs in the Smithsonian.

References: • • McFarland E.P. Stein, "The Flight of the Vin Fiz," Arbor House, New York, 1985, pp. 347 [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1912-1913 Wright Model C
his aircraft replaced the Model B as the standard Wright Aircraft. It had slightly flatter wings and a taller rudder for improved directional control. The blinkers became rectangular vanes attached to the front end of the skids.

A brand new Wright Model C on the factory floor in 1912.

While the Model B had triangular blinkers angled back along the front skid struts, its follow-on, the Model C, had large vertical blinkers. It also offered dual controls, so both left and right seat pilots used their right hands on the warp/rudder control. The Model C had a 38-foot span; 440 sq-foot area; 6-foot chord; 5-foot separation, 29.8 feet length; and weighed about 1,090 lb. Although a few C's had the 4-cylinder motor, most had the powerful new 6-cylinder motor. The additional power made them difficult to handle. After several pilots died in crashes of Wright Model C and Curtiss pusher airplanes, the Army banned pushers in late 1914 in favour of the new-style tractor airplanes with enclosed fuselages. References: • • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1201, plate 212. Loening, Grover C., "Takeoff into Greatness." G.P. Putnam's Sons, NY, 1968, pp 66-67. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1912 Wright Model D
his was a light, fast single-seat aircraft that the Wright built in response to the U.S. Army's request for a "speed scout." Its 6-cylinder engine and short wing span gave it a top speed of 66 miles per hour.

The Wright Model D had to be landed fast to keep the air flowing over the control surfaces. If it flew too slowly, it wouldn't respond to the controls.

Built for an Army contract, the Model D was similar to Model R Roadster. The Model D had a 27-foot span; 180 sq-foot area; 3 ft. 6 in chord; 3 ft. 6 in. separation, 20 ft. 0 in. length; and weighed about 885 lb. Instead of the V-8 motor, the army plane had the six cylinder 6-60 motor. The Model D could fly 66.9 mph and climb 525 feet per minute, but its excessive landing speed discouraged the Army from ordering more.
Wright 6-60 engine

References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1203, plate 215. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1913 Wright Model CH

his was the first Wright hydroplane, a Model C on a single wide pontoon. The tail was supported by a smaller pontoon mounted under the rudder. The wing span was 38 ft. 0 in. with a 440 sq. ft. wing area. Length: 29 ft. 9 in. Height: 7 ft. 4 in. Empty Weight: 1,000 lbs. estimated. Maximum speed: 45 mph estimated.

Stepped double pontoons

The Wrights produced this hydroplane in early 1913. It was a Model C equipped for taking off and landing on water. Originally, it used two twin pontoons affixed to the skid supports, but this made the aircraft difficult to turn in the air. The Wright switched to one large pontoon under the center and small ones under each wingtip and tail.
Preparing the Model CH for take off on the Great Miami River near Dayton, Ohio.

References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed), "The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright." McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1202-1203, plates 213-214.

[Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]
Single Wide Pontoon

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1913 Wright Model E

one-seat exhibition machine, this was the first Wright aircraft with a single propeller. The tail booms were attached further out on the wings to make room for the 7-foot chain-driven propeller.

A Wright Model E cruises above the Wright hanger at Huffman Prairie in 1913.

In 12 minutes, a small crew could disassemble this single seat exhibition airplane for shipment. The 1913 Wright Model E was similar to the 1911 Model EX, except it had only one 7-foot pusher propeller and two large 24 in balloon tires. It had a 32-foot span; 316 sq-foot area; 5.1-foot chord; 27.9foot length; and weighed about 730 pounds. It had the vertical blinkers similar to the Model C and used both the 4 and 6-cylinder Wright motors. On 31 Dec 1913, Orville flew a Model E equipped with his "automatic stabilizer" to win the 1913 Collier Trophy of the Aero Club of America. References: • • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, pp 1203-1204. Pictured in plate 216l Aeronautics, "New Wright Model E", Oct 1913, pp 140-141. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1913 Wright Model F

his was the first Wright aircraft with a fuselage. This fuselage, they found, eliminated the need for the blinkers. It was also the first airplane with a T-tail -- the Wright Company moved the elevator to rest atop the rudder. Span: 42 ft. 0 in. Chord: 6 ft. 0 in. Gap: 5 ft. 0 in. Length: 32 ft. 10 in.(est.) Height: 9 ft. 0 in.(est.) Wing Area: approx. 485 sq. ft.(est.) Aspect Ratio: 7.28 (est.) Camber: 1/20 (est.) Elevator: 45 sq. ft.(est.) Vertical rudders: 17.75 sq. ft. (est.) Structure: ash, spruce, metal alloy, wire, coated with aluminum powder; unbleached cotton or rubberized fabric covering Empty Weight: 1,000 lbs. (est.) Gross Weight: 1,600 lbs. (est.) Wing Loading: approx. 3.30 lbs./sq. ft.(est.) Wright Model F Engine: One Austro-Daimler 90 hp engine chain-driving two contra-rotating (“handed”) two-bladed propellers. The Wright Model F was built to an Army requirement in 1913. Though the Model F reverted to the twin-chaindriven propeller layout abandoned with the Model E, it represented a radical departure from the previous Wright design philosophy in virtually all other respects. Though a land plane, the Model F featured a boat-like fuselage, with the crew sitting in tandem, above twin landing wheels. The engine, of foreign manufacture (at government insistence, but for reasons that are unclear) and mounted in a curvaceous streamlined nose, had an extension shaft that passed (like the later P-39) under the crew seats, and then chain-drove twin tractor propellers located ahead of the wing. The elevator, previously carried on a tail-boom and located behind the twin vertical rudders, was now supported by the fuselage, and served as the base for the twin rudders. The fuselage assumed a slab-sided tapered rectangular form aft of the wing, and featured a landing tail-skid (though it was not, as has been said, the first Wright machine to feature a tail-skid). Flight tests resulted in two design changes to the production machine delivered to the U.S. Army: the propellers were changed from tractors to pushers, and the crew arrangements were changed from tandem seating to side-by-side seating for better cockpit communication and coordination. The Army’s Model F (S.C. 39) was delivered at the end of June 1914, and underwent protracted trials that occupied the next nine months before its acceptance. Thereafter, it only completed seven flights before being dropped from the Army’s inventory on June 13, 1915. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, • Dr. Richard P. Hallion: The Wright Kites, Gliders, and Airplanes: A Reference Guide [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 18

1913 Wright Model G

esigned by Grover Loening under the supervision of Orville Wright, this was the only flying boat built by the Wright Company. In 1914, the engine was placed in the front of the hull, ahead of the pilot for the first time in a Wright aircraft

An early version of the Wright Model G takes off from the Great Miami River in 1913. The flag at the front of the boat was not decorative; it was a wind direction indicator.

In 1913, Wright Co. chief engineer, Grover Loening, designed this seaplane under the supervision of Orville. The Model G had a 38-foot span; 430 sq-foot area; 6-foot chord; 5-foot separation; 28 feet length; and weighed 1,200-1,300 pounds. With its 18-foot boat-like hull, it was the first product of the Wright Company to have an enclosed cockpit. Early versions of the twin-propeller pusher had the motor in the rear and the engine was buried in the fuselage hull, in line with--but not resting on top of--the lower wing; the pilot sat in front of it. Later the engine was shifted forward into the bow of the aircraft in front of the pilot, who sat behind it and beneath the wings. Powered by the 6-60 six cylinder motor using an extension shaft that passed under the aircrew’s seats to drive the propellers, the aircraft flew up to 60 mph. Loening introduced several "non-Wright" features on later versions of this aircraft, such as dihedral wings, a non-flexing two-piece elevator mounted on top of the rudder, and an optional wheel to control the pitch and roll. References: • • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1183. Pictured in plate 218. Loening, Grover C., "The New Wright Aeroboat Type "G"." Aeronautics, Vol 14, No 6, Jun 15, 1914, pp 170-171. [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 19

1914 Wright Model H

his aircraft resembled the Model F, but it had a continuous wooden fuselage, veneered with canvas. It was the first aircraft that the Wright Company rigged with a slight dihedral to the wings. Span: 38 ft. 0 in. Chord: 6 ft. 0 in. Gap: 5 ft. 0 in. Length: 26 ft. 6 in. Height: 9 ft. 0 in.(est.) Wing Area: approx. 430 sq. ft. Aspect Ratio: 6.72 Camber: 1/15 (est.) Elevator: 40 sq. ft Vertical rudders: 18 sq. ft. (est.) Structure: ash, spruce, metal alloy, wire, coated with aluminum powder; unbleached cotton or rubberized fabric covering Wright Model H Empty Weight: 1,150 lbs. Gross Weight: 2,000 lbs. (est.) Wing Loading: approx. 4.65 lbs./sq. ft.(est.) Engine: One Wright 6-60 water-cooled six--cylinder 75 hp vertical inline of 406 cubic in. displacement running from 1,400 to 1,560 rpm, chain-driving two contra-rotating (“handed”) two-bladed propellers; engine weight approx. 4.0 lbs./h.p.; bore and stroke, 4 3/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. Maximum speed: 56 mph

Though a smaller aircraft, the Wright Model H represented a refinement of the design philosophy first exemplified with the disappointing Wright Model F, having a front fuselage that faired more pleasingly into the slab-sided contours of the aft fuselage, and, as well, slight wing dihedral, the latter representing the final overturning of Wright aerodynamic design philosophy, which had previously stressed anhedral, and then a “flat” level-wing planform. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, • Dr. Richard P. Hallion: The Wright Kites, Gliders, and Airplanes: A Reference Guide [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 20

1915 Wright Model HS

he HS was a small version of the Model H, with an increased speed and rate of climb. This was the last Wright pusher aircraft, and the last with a double vertical rudder. Span: 36 ft. 0 in. Chord: 6 ft. 0 in. Gap: 5 ft. 0 in. Length: 26 ft. 6 in. Height: 9 ft. 0 in.(est.) Wing Area: approx. 420 sq. ft. Aspect Ratio: 6.18 Camber: 1/25 (est.) Elevator: 40 sq. ft Vertical rudders: 18 sq. ft. (est.) Structure: ash, spruce, metal alloy, wire, coated with aluminum powder; unbleached cotton or rubberized fabric covering Empty Weight: 1,050 lbs. Wright HS Gross Weight: 1,900 lbs. (est.) Wing Loading: approx. 4.52 lbs./sq. ft.(est.) Engine: One Wright 6-60 water-cooled six--cylinder 75 hp vertical inline of 406 cubic in. displacement running from 1,400 to 1,560 rpm, chain-driving two contra-rotating (“handed”) two-bladed propellers; engine weight approx. 4.0 lbs./h.p.; bore and stroke, 4 3/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. Maximum speed: 60 mph (est.) In 1915, Orville Wright directed that the Model H be slightly reduced in span and lightened by approximately 100 lbs., in an effort to increase its speed. The result was the HS, which was not a commercial success. Note: Though other accounts state that the wingspan of the HS was 32 feet, Wright remembered it in 1919 as 36 feet; though hardly seeming a significant reduction in size, since this number reflects his recollection, I have used it in this listing rather than the figure of 32 feet. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, • Dr. Richard P. Hallion: The Wright Kites, Gliders, and Airplanes: A Reference Guide [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel] 21

1915 Wright Model K

his was a seaplane, manufactured for the United States Navy. The Model K was Wright Company's first tractor airplane with the propellers facing forward. It was also the first Wright aircraft to use ailerons. And it was the last to use the distinctive "bent-end" propellers, designed nearly ten years previously. Span: 38 ft. 7 in. Chord: 6 ft. 0 in. Gap: 5 ft.6 in. Length: 24 ft. 2 in. Height: 10 ft. 6 in. Wing Area: approx. 450 sq. ft. Aileron area (each wing): 14 sq. ft. Aspect Ratio: 6.62 Camber: 1/20 (est.) Horizontal stabilizer: 45.5 sq. ft. (est.) Elevator: 20 sq. ft (est.) 1915 Wright Model K Vertical fin: 3.50 sq. ft. (est.) Rudder: 8.50 sq. ft. (est.) Structure: ash, spruce, metal alloy, wire, coated with aluminium powder; unbleached cotton or rubberized fabric covering Empty Weight: 1,000 lbs. (est.) Gross Weight: 1,460 lbs. Wing Loading: approx. 4.52 lbs./sq. ft.(est.) Engine: One Wright 6-60 water-cooled six--cylinder 75 hp vertical inline of 406 cubic in. displacement running from 1,400 to 1,560 rpm, chain-driving two contra-rotating (“handed”) two-bladed tractor propellers; engine weight approx. 4.0 lbs./h.p.; bore and stroke, 4 3/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. Maximum speed: 60 mph (est.) In October 1915, Wright sold his interest in the company and settled into a career of general inventing, largely outside the aviation field. Even so, the first product of the reorganized Wright Company after his departure, the Model K twin-floatplane, still reflected a lingering influence of the 1903 machine, namely the twin chain-driven pusher propellers. However, in virtually all other respects, it marked a significant departure from previous Wright practice—perhaps not too surprising, given Orville Wright’s leave-taking. Generally of pleasing appearance, the two-man plane had a completely enclosed fuselage of box-like cross-section, and rested on two long floats. The engine installation generally followed the philosophy of the earlier Model F, G, H, and HS, namely, being located in the nose and driving the propellers via an extension shaft connected to the chaindrive mechanism. The propellers themselves were tractors, mounted ahead of the wing, and much higher than on other Wright machines, the centerline of the propeller being about two-thirds of the gap from the lower to the upper wing, presumably to eliminate water impingement upon them during taxiing and takeoff and landing operations. The U.S. Navy accepted one Model K, which received the serial AH-23, later renumbered A51, but despite its generally trim and purposeful appearance, and its generous payload capacity, it was not a success. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, • Dr. Richard P. Hallion: The Wright Kites, Gliders, and Airplanes: A Reference Guide [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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1916 Wright Model L “Military Tractor”

he Model L was a single place airplane, designed to fill the U.S. Army's request for a light, fast scouting machine. This was the last aircraft manufactured by the Wright Company. Orville had sold the company by this time, but he may have had some small influence on the design since he was retained as a consultant for a short time after the sale. Span: 29 ft. 0 in. Chord: 6 ft. 6 in. Gap: 5 ft. 9 in. Length: 24 ft. 2 in. Height 10 ft. 6 in. (est.) Wing Area: approx. 360 sq. ft. Aileron area: 14 sq. ft.(each wing) Aspect Ratio: 4.68 (est.) Camber: 1/20 (est.) Horizontal stabilizer: 45.5 sq. ft. (est.) Elevator: 20 sq. ft (est.) Vertical fin: 3.50 sq. ft. (est.) Rudder: 8.50 sq. ft. (est.) Structure: ash, spruce, metal alloy, wire, coated with aluminum powder; unbleached cotton or rubberized fabric covering Empty Weight: 850 lbs. Gross Weight: 1,150 lbs. (est.) Wing Loading: approx. 3.19 lbs./sq. ft.(est.) 1916 Wright Model L “Military Tractor” Engine: One Wright 6-60 water-cooled six--cylinder 75 hp vertical inline of 406 cubic in. displacement running from 1,400 to 1,560 rpm, -driving a single two-bladed tractor propellers; engine weight approx. 4.0 lbs./h.p.; bore and stroke, 4 3/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. Maximum speed: 80 mph (est.) The Wright Model L incorporated some of the design philosophy of the Model K, and thus can be considered the “last” of the Wright airplanes incorporating inputs from one or both of the Wright brothers. It first flew in 1916, and was intended as a light single-seat scouting airplane. Its design represented an essential rejection of any previous Wright concept: it was a tractor biplane of (very) conventional layout, with a direct-drive engine, ailerons on all four wings (each pair connected by an actuating rod), an enclosed fuselage, a wheeled undercarriage, a separate horizontal fin and elevator, a Fokker-like “comma” tail (though with a separate fin and rudder), and was inherently stable. Even so, it’s simple, straight lines (except for the curved nose panels) and overlarge tail surfaces (part of the legacy to the Model K) gave it an almost “amateur” or model airplanelike appearance. It obviously lagged behind the contemporary design standard of combat aircraft on the Western Front, and, not surprisingly, failed to secure production orders. Later aircraft using the Wright name represented the concepts and designs of others. References: • McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953, • Dr. Richard P. Hallion: The Wright Kites, Gliders, and Airplanes: A Reference Guide [Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]

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The contents of this document were taken from freely available internet web sources. (Note references) As such, some copyrighted material is probably included. Compared to the original, it is a more complete report. The original photos were replaced with web - sourced photos of better quality; the photos were researched to match the models described. The purpose of this document is to educate students, modellers and amateur historians; putting the relevant information on the early Wright aircraft in context and in one place. For Educational Purposes Only - NOT FOR RESALE.
modified from: http://www.first-to-fly.com http://www.first-to-fly.com/History/Just%20the%20Facts/wright1.htm

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