This airplane is a modified version of the Wright “B” Flyer, the first model produced in quantity by the Wright brothers. It is representative of the Signal Corps Airplanes No. 3 and No. 4 purchased by the US Army in 1911, and it was used for training pilots and conducting aerial experiments. At College Park, Md., in October 1911, a Wright “B” was used for the first military trials of a bombsight and bomb-dropping device.
The major modifications of the airplane on exhibit include the replacement of the original four-cylinder Wright engine with an eight-cylinder Rausenberger engine, the addition of ailerons on the trailing edges of the wings in place of the wing-warping feature used by the Wright brothers, and the use of a wheel control system instead of the Wright’s lever control system.
The airplane on display was used for flight instruction by Howard Rinehart at Mineola, N.Y., in 1916. It appears here almost exactly as it did when it was last flown by Lt. John A. Macready during the International Air Races at Dayton, Ohio, in October 1924. It was acquired by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. and donated to the museum.
Engine: Eight-cylinder Rausenberger of 75 hp
Maximum Speed: 45 mph
Maximum Endurance: 2 hours
Span: 39 feet
Length: 28 feet
Height: 8 feet, 9 inches
Weight: 1,400 lbs. loaded
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