The Experimental Wright "B" Flyer

It always takes awhile for me to find my way south to the Vintage Aircraft area at AirVenture but I'm never disappointed. This year, the folks from the National Aviation Heritage area in Dayton, Ohio, prominently display their Wright "B" Flyer next to the Red Barn. Not exactly a replica as it was built in the late '70s and completed in 1982 with then modern materials, the plane has safely flown over 4000 people. It is constructed with steel and aluminum instead of the spruce and ash used in the original "B". The resulting 3200 pounds requires more than the Model T engines installed in the original Bs. It also uses ailerons instead of wing warping in order to ensure safe flights for the organizations members.

Experimental? You bet! While not really a replica, this E-AB registered Wright B Flyer has given more than 4000 organization members the thrill of flying in the closest thing available today to what the earliest Wright customers experienced.
Experimental? You bet! While not really a replica, this E-AB registered Wright B Flyer has given more than 4000 organization members the thrill of flying in the closest thing available today to what the earliest Wright customers experienced.

[sc:ad180]Wright "B" Flyer Inc. brought to plane to Oshkosh this year to drum up interest and support for their next project---a replacement Wright "B" Flyer that they promise will be even closer to the original. They not only seek funds for the project but are also soliciting skilled builders to volunteer and help with structural welding, fabric, empennage, wire and cable, electrical,brakes, flight controls, and standard Lycoming engine installation with chain driven propellers. They are offering to partner with local EAA chapters who will build sub-assemblies and ship them to Dayton. More information is available at www.wright-b-flyer.org.

"Honorary Aviator" ($100 membership fee) and "Life" members ($200 membership fee) of Wright "B" Flyer, Inc. have the opportunity to fly right seat in this cockpit at the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Ohio.
"Honorary Aviator" ($100 membership fee) and "Life" members ($200 membership fee) of Wright "B" Flyer, Inc. have the opportunity to fly right seat in this cockpit at the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Ohio.
No landing skids on this plane, which mostly flies off a paved airport.
No landing skids on this plane, which mostly flies off a paved airport.
This heavy version of the Wright B Flyer uses the helicopter version of a Lycoming HIO-360 held onto a deck bolt mount handles the tricky cooling issues that the group faced with this full-power, slow flying plane.
This heavy version of the Wright B Flyer uses the helicopter version of a Lycoming HIO-360 held onto a deck bolt mount handles the tricky cooling issues that the group faced with this full-power, slow flying plane.
A Rajay turbo boosts the B's engine to about 220 hp.
A Rajay turbo boosts the B's engine to about 220 hp.
You can find the "B" in front of the Vintage Hangar, next to the Red Barn.
You can find the "B" in front of the Vintage Hangar, next to the Red Barn.

Louise Hose

Louise Hose is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot who regularly flies her RV-6, her husband’s RV-8, and an RV-3B and a Dream Tundra, which they built together. They live in Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada. She also edits the monthly, free digital newsletter, The Homebuilder’s Portal by KITPLANES®.

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