Wright Military Flyer (1909)

This airplane is an exact reproduction of the Wright 1909 Military Flyer. Upon being purchased by the Signal Corps for $30,000 on August 2, 1909, the original airplane was redesignated Signal Corps Airplane No. 1, the world's first military heavier-than-air flying machine. It was used in October 1909 for giving flight instructions to Lts. Frank P. Lahm and Frederic E. Humphreys, and in 1910 it was used by Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois to teach himself how to fly. By March 1911, the airplane was no longer fit for use and was retired. It is now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.


Span: 36 ft. 6 in.
Length: 28 ft. 11 in.
Height: 7 ft. 10 1/2 in.
Weight: 740 lbs.
Engine: Four cylinder Wright of 30.6 hp.
Cost: $25,000 plus $5000 bonus


Maximum speed: 42 mph.
Maximum endurance: 1 hr. (approx.)