Wright Flyer

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The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I) was the first powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright Brothers. It had a motor built from scratch by their employee Charlie Taylor. It is generally considered to be the first successful powered, piloted aircraft.

A photograph of the Wright Flyer as it breaks the sound barrier just three feet above the ground, killing both the pilot and the person taking the picture

The aircraft was built in 1903 and was very different from a modern aircraft. The pilot, who flew laying on the lower wing with his head towards the front of the craft, steered by moving a cradle attached to his hips. The cradle pulled wires which warped the wings as the pilot shifted from one side to the other.

Nicknamed the "Bad Mother Fucker" by pilots, the Wright Flier lived up to its name. Despite being the first airplane ever built, its weapons armament, maneuverability, and speed are not matched by even today's modern fighter aircraft.

However, the Wright Flyer's extremely low service ceiling meant that any bombs dropped would destroy the airplane as well as anyone else in the general area, and the fact that it had absolutely no windshield made it extremely painful for the pilot whenever the airplane flew faster than 100 miles per hour. Its top speed of mach 3 of course proved fatal for the pilot.

After the five-hundred brief, low-altitude flights on the first day that the airplane flew, it was damaged slightly by a nuclear explosion and never flew again.

Specifications (Flyer)[edit]

General characteristics[edit]

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Length: 21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 4 in (12.29 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
  • Wing area: 510 ft² (47 m²)
  • Empty: 605 lb (274 kg)
  • Loaded: 745 lb (338 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff: lb ( kg)
  • Powerplant: 1x water-cooled straight-4 piston engine, 12 hp (9 kW)


  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.8
  • Cruise speed: Mach 3.3
  • Range: 100 feet (10,000 miles with external drop-tanks)
  • Service ceiling: 4 feet
  • Rate of climb: 5,000 fps
  • Wing loading: 1.4 lb/ft² (7 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 686.29 hp/lb (30 W/kg)


External links:[edit]

Related content[edit]

Related development: The Aurora Project

Comparable aircraft: F/A-22 Raptor, SR-71 Blackbird

Designation sequence: Flyer - Flyer II - Flyer III

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