Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title Original Fabric 1903 Wright Flyer
Date 1903-2003
Collection Aviation Memorabilia Collection
Object Name Component, Aircraft
Catalog Number 2003.39.1
Description Piece of original fabric from lower left wing of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first aircraft to achieve powered flight. Matted with sepia photo of the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Numbered in left matte corner: Series 3 #17. Framed in brown wood frame with border of gold paint "beads."

Caption reads: "Presented to Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum Volunteers / When Orville Wright prepared the 1903 Wright Flyer for public exhibition in 1928, he replaced the original fabric because it had been damaged by submersion in flood waters in 1913. He covered the flying surfaces with new fabric of identical material. After Orville's death in 1948, his executors found some of the original wing coverings carefully preserved and labeled in his laboratory at 15 North Broadway in Dayton, Ohio. This piece of fabric is from the section that covered the lower left wing of the first Wright aeroplane on December 17, 1903. On that day, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville made the world's first free, controlled and sustained flights in a power-driven heavier-than-air flying machine. / G. Wilkinson Wright, Marion D. Wright (printed and signed), Stephen Wright (printed and signed), Amanda Wright Lane (printed and signed)."
On back of frame on Wright Family letterhead are display recommendations: "To Whom It May Concern, The ultraviolet radiation emitted by sunlight can do irreparable damage to an historic artifact. To insure the well being of this fabric, please display this plaque in a place where it will not receive direct sunlight. Thank you, Stephen Wright (signed)."
Depth (in) 1
Height (in) 18.5
Width (in) 22.25
Dimension Details Measurements are frame dimensions. The fabric piece measures 1.5" W x 1.25" H
Provenance Presented to the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum by descendants of the Wright brothers, Ohio residents Stephen Wright (great-nephew) and Amanda Wright Lane (great-niece). In May 2003, Stephen Wright flew on Delta's restored DC-3, Ship 41, at the Festival of Flight in Fayetteville, N.C., held in honor of the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
Search Terms Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum
Delta Flight Museum
1903 Wright Flyer (Airplane)
Subjects Aircraft
Airplanes
Airplane wings
Credit line Gift of the Wright Family