Background Engineering and Tests

The goal of our project has never been simply to fly a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. As stated in the orignial Project Objectives:

"The purpose of the Wright Flyer Project is to clarify and commemorate what the Wright Brothers did by generating a complete body of experimental data and analyses which describe the characteristics of the first successful piloted airplane."
Toward those ends, our project has built and tested two sub-scale wind tunnel models in addition to the full scale replica tested in the 40' X 80' Low Speed Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center in March, 1999. The full scale replica also served as a structural test article to help us prove the design capable of supporting 3.9 times the loaded weight of the aircraft. Our members have conducted research into the stability and control of the 1903 Flyer using radio control models, modern computer based flight simulations, and in-flight simulations with the help of the USAF Test Pilots School and a variable stability aircraft. And, of course, every member has researched the history of the Wright Brothers and early flight to some extent.

These pages document some of the background engineering research that has gone into the development of our second full-scale 1903 Flyer replica, one intended to safely carry a human pilot. We also have a list of the technical papers that were written by members of the project, and several that document the results of these tests are made available for free download.

Some of our logos for the tests at NASA Ames. Those who work in aerospace must have a logo for everything...
Tunnel Badge   Tunnel Logo

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