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Meticulous Reproduction & Airworthy. We Have Many National Awards.
The Wright Experience, Inc. www.wrightexperience.com Warrenton, VA 540-347-1909
One hundred years ago, a very special aircraft helped change our nation and the world forever. It was the product of the Wright Company—a brainstorm of Orville and Wilbur Wright. The Wright Model B was the standard bearer of an industry emerging from its infancy. In 1911 and 1912, this airplane, and the people who flew it, shaped the modern world.
Our Model B is a reproduction of Army Signal Corps Aircraft #4, flown by Hap Arnold and Tom Milling. It is equipped with an original, working Wright vertical-‐four engine (Serial #33.) This engine was once the personal property of Orville Wright. The finishes, fabric, airframe, and fittings have been reproduced as accurately as possible following thousands of hours of primary source research and the creation of fully detailed, accurate plans.
This aircraft is now available for lease or purchase from The Wright Experience. For further details and pricing, contact Ken Hyde.
|Empty Weight: 843 lbs.||Seats:||(1) Pilot and (1) Passenger|
|Wing Span: 39′||Engine:||35-‐HP Original Wright V4, Serial #33|
|Length: 29′||Propellers:||Reproduction Wright 1911 Bent-‐end|
In the spring of 1911, two Army lieutenants soloed in Model Bs at the Wright School in Dayton. One later became 4-‐star General Thomas Milling. The other became 5-‐star General Henry “Hap” Arnold.
Arch Hoxsey flew President Theodore Roosevelt in a Model B in St. Louis in October, 1910—the first airplane flight by an American president.
From September 1911 to February 1912, the second flight across the country was made in a Wright Model B flying from California to Florida. Its pilot, Robert Fowler, flew into aviation history.
In 1911 and 1912, two pilots from the Wright Exhibition Team, Philip Parmelee and Clifford Turpin, crisscrossed the country in their Model B airplanes. Flying state fairs, offering rides, even being deputized and chasing bandits from the sky, they were pioneers of the air show as we know it today.
Our reproduction Model B aircraft is ideal for preserving the rich heritage of American and aviation history. It represents the foundation of commercial and military powered flight. The Model B is the link, through Hap Arnold, to the modern Air Force. Through Robert Fowler, we see the shrinking of the continent and the origin of the modern air travel. Through Parmelee and Turpin, we see the spirit of adventure that propelled aviation advances for over a century.
Interactive use of the aircraft in a museum setting can enhance both formal and informal STEM learning by visitors and students. A reproduction Wright machine holds a unique advantage as teaching tool because all the fundamental principles of aircraft design are fully realized and accessible. Thanks to its open framework, the principles of three-‐axis control, wing warping, and power and propulsion can all be easily seen and demonstrated.
A brief biography of the founder of the Wright Experience
Marianne Miller Hudec, great-niece of the Wright Brothers, said, “I want you to know that in my view the work you are doing would have come first in Uncle Orv’s eyes. No other organization besides yours has devoted itself to validating the science developed by the Wrights. And that is the thing that mattered most of all to them.”
For Wright Experience™ founder Ken Hyde, it matters a great deal. For him it is important that 100 years from now the Wright Brothers’ work is preserved for future generations to study and understand what these two remarkable men actually accomplished and how they accomplished it. A 2000 inductee into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, Ken and his Wright Experience™ team are telling the story that the Wrights always intended to tell but never did.
Ken’s passion for aviation came at an early age. His father’s interest in aviation was quickly passed on to him. Afternoon family car rides always seemed to end up at the local airport. That passion was fueled by the guidance and encouragement of so many individuals who took an interest in this small town boy from Nokesville, Virginia. But it was the renowned Charlie Kulp, “The Flying Farmer,” who shared with Ken his maintenance skills, technical expertise, and patience for restoring old airplanes.
Born April 26, 1939, the Virginia native earned both his pilot’s and mechanics’ licenses while still a high school student. Following high school, he went to work as a mechanic for Capital Airlines. In 1961, he joined the team at Bendix Corporation as a co-pilot/mechanic for the operation of instrumented aircraft for calibrating worldwide tracking stations for projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
He joined American Airlines in 1965 and retired in September 1999, with 33 years of service of flying DC-6’s, DC-7’s, L-188’s, and Boeing 727’s. The same year he went to work for American Airlines, he founded Virginia Aviation, an antique aircraft restoration company. He first gained national attention as the restorer of a number of vintage aircraft when his restoration of the Clipped-Wing Monocoupe “Little Butch” took EAA Grand Champion honors in 1975.
He also won EAA grand-national-champion honors in 1987 with his 1918 Curtiss Jenny. His list of restored projects for museums include aircraft for the National Air and Space Museum; the Cradle of Aviation Museum; the EAA Museum; the San Diego Aerospace Museum; the U.S. Army Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker, Alabama; the U.S. Army Museum at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma; the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond; the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington; the College Park Aviation Museum, College Park, Maryland and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
It was in 1992 that he turned his attention to the Wright Brothers. The Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama, commissioned Ken to build a reproduction of the 1911 Wright Model “B” that had become the Army’s first practical airplane. What he found out was that the meticulous Wrights put very little of their work on paper or in one resource place. Instead, Ken discovered that it would take a full-time commitment to tell the entire story of what these two brothers accomplished.
Discovering the secrets of the Wright Brothers to inspire a new generation is what drives Ken Hyde and his Wright Experience™ team. Commissioned by the Ford Motor Company and the Experimental Aircraft Association, and authorized by the National Park Service, Ken reproduced the Wright’s ultimate gift to mankind — the 1903 Flyer. People saw the Flyer come to life during 2003 Encampment and on December 17, 2003, at Kitty Hawk. That aircraft is now exhibited in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
A second 1903 Kitty Hawk Flyer was commissioned by Harry B. Combs of Lear Jet fame. This Flyer was Mr. Combs’ gift to the nation and is on permanent display at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
In April of 2005, The Museum of Flight, in Seattle, Washington, announced the acquisition of a third 1903 Wright Flyer built by Ken and his team. In September of 2006 the U.S. Naval Academy accepted delivery of a reproduction Wright Navy B-1 now hanging in Dahlgren Hall, USNA, Annapolis, Maryland.
Since 1992, Ken’s team has made great strides toward understanding the secrets of the Wright Brothers. Wind tunnel tests on the 1903, 1904, and 1911 propellers have shown that the Wright propellers were exceedingly efficient. Projects currently underway include the preparation for flight testing and evaluation of a fifth Model B, the construction of fully accurate, airworthy 1908 Model “A” aircraft; and the restoration of two rare Wright Vertical Four engines, the only original working Wright engines in the world.