1907/1909 Wright Flyer Model A


Early Aeroplanes 1907-1918

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The Wright Model A was the world’s first production airplane. The Wrights produced variations of this aircraft from 1907 to 1909. It was like the Flyer III, but longer and heavier, with a more powerful engine. The biggest difference was that it could carry two people sitting upright on the leading edge of the wing. The brothers had devised a new control system with levers for wing warping, elevator, and rudder but Wilbur disliked it so. When he assembled a Model A for shipment to France, he replaced the controls with a system of his own devising. The result was that Wright airplanes manufactured in Europe had a “Wilbur” control, while those made in America had an “Orville.” For a short time, you could order Wright airplanes with either Wilbur or Orville controls. Wilbur first flew the Model A in 1908 in France and a second went to Italy where Wilbur demonstrated it 1909. He flew a Model A at Governor’s Island, New York for the New York Anniversary. Orville flew a Model A at Fort Myer in September of 1908. On 17 September 1908, he crashed this airplane killing his passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge. [Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company Virtual Museum]. Apart from the seven machines the Wrights built themselves in 1906 – 1907, they sold licences for production in Europe with the largest number of Model A’s produced in Germany by Flugmaschine Wright GmbH of Berlin, who built about 60. [Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany].

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Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm