It always takes awhile for me to find my way south to the Vintage Aircraft area at AirVenture but I’m never disappointed. This year, the folks from the National Aviation Heritage area in Dayton, Ohio, prominently display their Wright “B” Flyer next to the Red Barn. Not exactly a replica as it was built in the late ’70s and completed in 1982 with then modern materials, the plane has safely flown over 4000 people. It is constructed with steel and aluminum instead of the spruce and ash used in the original “B”. The resulting 3200 pounds requires more than the Model T engines installed in the original Bs. It also uses ailerons instead of wing warping in order to ensure safe flights for the organizations members.
Wright “B” Flyer Inc. brought to plane to Oshkosh this year to drum up interest and support for their next project—a replacement Wright “B” Flyer that they promise will be even closer to the original. They not only seek funds for the project but are also soliciting skilled builders to volunteer and help with structural welding, fabric, empennage, wire and cable, electrical,brakes, flight controls, and standard Lycoming engine installation with chain driven propellers. They are offering to partner with local EAA chapters who will build sub-assemblies and ship them to Dayton. More information is available at www.wright-b-flyer.org.