Replica of Wright 1905 Aircraft
The sites and sounds of Huffman Prairie in 1904-1905 are being
recreated in Dover, Ohio, in the fall of 2004. Mark Dusenberry has
built and flies a historically accurate, full scale replica
of the Wright 1905 flyer.
In 2003, the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first flight
of the Wright Brothers'
The four flights of December 17, 1903, were
important milestones in man's conquest of the air, but the
was only a chapter in a much longer story.
All four flights of that day were characterized by an
the nose of the aircaft, and therefore the entire aircraft,
bobbed up and down as it flew.
The brothers returned to Dayton, Ohio, and knew there was
more work to be done
to correct the problems of the 1903 flyer. They increased
the power of the
from 12 horsepower to 18 horsepower.
They first modified the rudders and then the elevator
of their machine.
They decided to conduct further flight tests in Dayton
instead of returning to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
It took nearly two years and two new aircraft before the pitch problem
was finally solved in 1905.
The brothers called the 1905 the "first practical airplane".
Here's a picture taken in 1905 of the
aircraft in flight.
Because of the lack of sustained winds in Dayton, the brothers
launched their aircraft by using a catapult, as shown in this
photo from 1905:
For the last seven years, Mark Dusenberry
has been retracing the steps of the Wright brothers by
building a historically accurate replica of the Wright 1905.
We have prepared a
of photographs taken during one of Mark's flights.
The four cylinder engine has an aluminum block and produces
nearly 18 horsepower, just like the original Wright engine.
Here is a picture of the engine that was built by Mark:
The propellers were carved by hand and are shown in this view
from the front of the aircraft
Like the brothers, Mark uses a catapult to launch the aircraft.
A large weight is pulled to the top of a tower and a line is run
from the weight through some pulleys and connected to the
front of the aircraft. When the restraining wire is released, the
aircraft shoots down the launch rail and into the air.
Here is a photograph of the launch:
Mark has flown his replica nearly a dozen times (as of October, 2004). On this
AVI movie, the aircraft flies for about 20 seconds.
Watch it Fly!
- Re-Living the Wright Way
- Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
- NASA Home Page