Replica of Wright 1903 Aircraft
The scientists and engineers of tomorrow are working
to retrace the steps of the Wright Brothers.
A scale replica of the Wright's 1903 aircraft has been built
at the Orono Middle School of Orono, Maine.
The model aircraft was sent to the International Space Station in the
spring of 2003 where it was used by the Expedition 7 crew of
Yuri Malenchenko and Ed Lu in several educational broadcasts.
In 2003, the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first flight
of the Wright Brothers'
In reality, the 1903 was only one of a succession of
aircraft leading to the first, practical, piloted,
heavier-than-air flying machine, the
The four flights of December 17, 1903 were the first
flights of this class of aircraft and, though the
itself was unstable in
it marked an important milestone in man's conquest
of the air.
Here's the famous picture taken in 1903 of the aircraft in flight.
During the fall of 2002 and winter of 2003,
science students at Orono Middle School,
built a small scale model of the Wright's 1903 aircraft.
Led by their teacher, Richard Glueck, the students studied drawings
and photographs of the original aircraft, developed scale plans, shaped the
wing ribs, struts, control surfaces, and propellers and performed
the final construction of the model.
The students had previously built a full scale model of the
and a half scale model of the
1902 glider which are now at the
NASA Glenn Research Center. A
of photos of the 2003
activity has been prepared.
Here is a picture of students cutting the ribs.
And here is another picture of a student sanding the main spar.
The aircraft is nearly finished as shown in this photo:
And here is a photograph of the finished aircraft:
In June, 2003, the finished aircraft was sent to the International
Space Station on board a Progress re-supply ship. The model was used in
several educational broadcasts from the ISS during the summer and
fall of 2003. The picture at the top of the page shows the aircraft
floating in front of Ed Lu on board the ISS. Here is a picture of the
students who built the 1903 replica:
- Re-Living the Wright Way
- Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
- NASA Home Page