Flugzeug Wright Typ A und Flugmotor Bariquand et Marre Typ W

Deutsches Museum


The brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright constructed the world’s first series-produced aircraft, the "Wright Standard Model A", by systematically developing it from the first successful powered aircraft they also built, the "Flyer".

It is very similar to this earlier model in its design. The typical appearance of the early Wright aircraft with front-mounted elevator, rear-mounted vertical tail, chain drive and skids for landing was the result of the consistent development from gliding flight to powered flight (1899-1903).

The Wright brothers solved some fundamental problems of flight technology: the lateral control of their aircraft, for example, was achieved by the fact that the ends of the wings were flexible and could be twisted alternately with the help of a cable. This increased the lift on one wing and decreased the lift on the other wing at the same time, turning the aircraft around its longitudinal axis. With this "wing twisting" and with elevators and rudders, it was possible to perform any flight manoeuvre with the Wright aircraft.

The first powered aircraft, the Flyer I (1903), was followed by two more experimental models, the Flyer II (1904) and the first really operational model, the still single-seater Flyer III (1905). The two-seater standard Model A was developed out of this, with more than 10 of them being built in series.

When the Wrights first went public with this first production machine in 1908, the superiority of the aircraft over all other aircraft developments at the time became apparent.

Nevertheless, the Wright aircraft did not catch on: their flight stability was poor, the chain drive of the propellers was a source of danger, and the weakly powered aircraft had to be catapulted into the air.

Because the Wrights stubbornly stuck to their design, they fell behind other aircraft manufacturers, such as the Société Anonyme Blériot.

The aircraft shown here is a production machine from the brothers’ workshop in Dayton, USA. At the invitation of the Berlin publishing house Scherl, Orville Wright conducted demonstration flights on the Tempelhofer Feld in August 1909. During the flight demonstrations, numerous important passengers, such as the first German Wright pilot Paul Engelhard, flew with Orville Wright in this aircraft.

Our aircraft served as a training aircraft and as a model for the aircraft replicated by "Flugmaschine Wright GmbH" in Berlin-Reinickendorf. While it was still on display at the General Aviation Exhibition in Berlin, August Scherl donated it to the Deutsches Museum in 1912.

It was partially destroyed by bombs hitting the Deutsches Museum in 1944 and later restored. It is the only surviving Wright Standard Model A aircraft.

Design features:

- Two-seater canard biplane construction, i.e. elevator in the front and rudder in the rear.

- Lateral control by wing twisting (i.e. no flaps, but flexible, elastic wing structure).

- Two counter-rotating pressure screws with chain drive.

- The low-powered aircraft was normally launched using a catapult system.

- Landing on wooden skids

- Seats and engine side by side on the lower wing, (when flying solo the pilot had to sit on the outer seat to ensure balance!)

Technical data:

Drive: water-cooled 4-cylinder in-line engine by Bariquand et Marre, Paris

Output: 30 hp (22 kW)

span: 12.5 m

length: 9.45 m

wing area: 47 m²

empty mass: approx. 390 kg

take-off mass: approx. 550 kg

speed: approx. 60 km/h

Rights Statement Description

CC BY-SA 4.0