The Wright Flyer
The N.C. Transportation Museum proudly added the full size replica Wright Flyer in December of 2009, as part of a temporary exhibit "The World Aloft: 1908: The Year the Airplane Went Public." While "The World Aloft" was a short-lived exhibit, the Wright Flyer replica remains at the museum, giving visitors the opportunity to view the size and fragile nature of the machine that first achieved powered flight.
The Wright Flyer replica came from the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Displayed through 2003, this replica was replaced by a newer Wright Flyer during the centennial of flight celebrations and placed into storage. Then the opportunity arose for a partnership between the Wright Brothers Memorial and the N.C. Transportation Museum. The N.C. Transportation Museum was happy to display this Wright Flyer, on exhibit in the Bob Julian Roundhouse, on long term loan.
"The World Aloft" exhibit was built around a little known five year span between the Wright Brothers achievement of powered flight and that success becoming known. While the first flight took place in 1903, it was five years later that the Wright Brothers returned to Kill Devil Hills, accompanied by reporters, cameramen and others that would make their success known to the world.
The flyer provides an up close view of the state's aviation history for those in the North Carolina Piedmont. With a 21 ft. length and a 40 ft. wingspan and weighing just over 600 pounds, this full size replica brings to life the Wright Brothers' remarkable achievement of powered flight.