Posted By RichC on November 15, 2010
EAA Chapter 284’s meeting this month was a trip to Dayton-Wright Brother Airport and the Wright B Flyer museum. Our meeting centered around aviation history and the of the building of a replicate “B” Flyer which started with the flying look-a-like Brown Bird which first flew in July 1982. The airplane make flight appearances at events around the world and is hangers and maintained by a group of volunteers just south of Dayton Ohio. Funding relies on donations, event fees and the Ohio “Leader in Flight” specialty plate – now I know where that premium goes.
We enjoyed the backend tour of the shop and hanger, a look at the new high-tech Silver Bird replicate and had an opportunity to leaf through the blueprints. A couple of us climbed into the Brown Bird for a photo (below).
On one of the more recent commemorative flights observing the 100th anniversary of the first air cargo flight, the Wright B Flyer released a box of military UAVs that gives some thought to how high-tech surveillance is becoming. A plaque given to the museum has a replicate … seen any of these flying over your house lately?
Given the pilot workload in flying the Wright B Flyer (no trim control), maintenance requirements and flight characteristics, the volunteer staff disassembles the tail section and ships the airplane to events in a tractor trailer.
CRUISE: 60 MPH
ENDURANCE: 2 Hours
RANGE: 100 Miles
LANDING: 45 MPH
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: Approximately 2000 Feet above sea level, depending upon the atmosphere density in the area.
The Wright “B” Flyer was constructed to honor the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers and promote Dayton, Ohio as the “Leader in Flight,”. The original Wright B Flyer was designed to provide pilot training and reconnaissance for the US Army Signal Corps from 1911 to 1914.
Currently the Wright B Flyer organization owns 3 aircraft. They are called by the color of the fabric on each aircraft
The Brown Bird -This was the first look alike built by the organization and first flew on July 27, 1982
The Silver Bird – The Silver Bird is a new look-alike, which is smaller and designed to fit easily in a 4 foot Sea/Land container for easier shipment both in the US and internationally. The Silver Birs has recently received its airworthiness certificate and is undergoing flight testing.
The Yellow Bird – The Yellow Bird or Valentine Flyer is the third plane. It is a movie star that was originally built by Tom & Karen Valentine (from California) and used in a movie “The Wings of Kitty Hawk.” It came to WBF and it serves as a display model of what a real 1911 Wright “B” Flyer looked like. It does differ in some details from an original (different engine, aircraft quality turn buckles VS piano wire) but it does serve to help people understand details like wing warping.
Currently only the Brown Bird and Silver Bird will be at the airport. The fabric on the Yellow Bird is severely deteriorated and is being prepped for recovering at another site.