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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Fact Sheet Search

  • Wright Brothers, 1907

    President Theodore Roosevelt heard of the Wrights and their flying machine and directed the U.S. Army to investigate their claims of having flown. This interest led to meetings with the Wrights, and on Dec. 23, 1907, Specification No. 486 was issued for a "Heavier-than-air Flying Machine." On Feb. 10, 1908, the Signal Corps and the Wrights signed
  • Wright Brothers, 1903

    By 1903, the Wrights had solved two of the three basic problems associated with developing a successful flying machine -- lift and control. The problem of adding a lightweight power plant for propulsion remained.In the summer of 1903, they built a 40-feet, 4-inch span airplane that incorporated all their aerodynamic knowledge. While their mechanic,
  • Wright Brothers, 1902

    Between the fall of 1901 and the summer of 1902, the Wrights developed and tested more than 50 airfoil sections on a modified bicycle and in a homemade wind tunnel. At last they had solved the problem of calculating lift.Using the tables they developed, the Wrights built a 32-foot span glider. In the fall of 1902, they made made nearly a thousand
  • Wright Brothers, 1901

    Encouraged by their experience with their first glider, the Wrights built a 22-foot span glider in 1901. It followed the basic design of their first glider but incorporated a pilot's hip-cradle for operating the wing-warping control cables. The Wrights flew this glider at Kill Devil Hills in the summer of 1901, and on one flight they traveled 389
  • Wright Brothers, 1900

    Bicycles to Flyers After limited success in the printing business, Wilbur and Orville Wright decided to sell and repair bicycles. They opened up the first of several bicycle shops in 1893, and three years later, the Wrights began building bicycles of their own design. The successful bicycle business provided the funds for their flight experiments,
  • Wright Bicycle

    This bicycle sprocket hub and sprockets from the Wright Bicycle Co. are on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Wrights later used a bicycle-type chain drive in their early airplanes. Also on display are a composting stick and metal type from the Wright printing business.Click here to return to the Wright Brothers
  • Wright Brothers 1901 Wind Tunnel

    This is a replica of the wind tunnel designed and built by the Wright Brothers in the fall of 1901 to test airfoil designs. The blower fan, driven by an overhead belt, produced a 25 to 35 mph wind for testing the lift of various planes and curved surfaces. Aerodynamic tables derived from these tests were vital to the successful design of the Wright
  • Wright R-1820 Cyclone

    The Wright Aeronautical Corp. introduced the 9-cylinder, air-cooled, R-1820 radial engine in 1931. Developed from earlier "Cyclone" engines of the late 1920s, the larger and more powerful R-1820 produced 575 hp; however, engineers dramatically improved its performance over many years of production, with several later versions being rated at 1,525
  • Wright R-790

    The 225-hp R-790 was a standard U.S. Air Corps radial engine used in several types of airplanes during the 1920s and 1930s. Some significant long-distance flights during that era featured R-790s. The engine on display at the museum is one of three Wright R-790s that powered to Fokker trimotor Bird of Paradise during its non-stop flight from the
  • Wright 6-60 Engine

    The U.S. Army Signal Corps used Wright 6-cylinder, water-cooled engines to power its Wright Model C and D airplanes. Although originally rated at 50 hp, this improved version of the Wright 6-cylinder possessed 60 hp ("6-60" referred to its 6-cylinder-60-hp capacity).Click here to return to the Early Years Gallery.

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