THE WRIGHT EXPERIENCE
Saturday, November 21, 2015 | 10am-12 Noon
An hour west of Washington DC is a real Wright brothers’ airplane factory. There are only two guys who built more Wright brothers’ airplanes than Ken Hyde and his Wright Experience team: Orville and Wilbur themselves. Hyde’s count so far is twenty-two Wright aircraft. Hyde’s shop is a beehive of impeccable craftsmanship, primary research, and reverse engineering nestled in the bucolic Virginia countryside. A visit there is not a trip back in time—rather, it's a chance to experience the ever-present genius of the Wright brothers—brought to life in the here and now. A visit there means seeing and touching real Wright aircraft and artifacts—and seeing and hearing an original Wright engine run. It means a try on the Wright 1908 flight simulator. It means a window into the detective work that pieces together the fragmentary evidence of exactly how the airplane was invented and perfected. It is also a chance to be inspired and to discover an oath to carry the experience further—Hyde's dedication to education and inspiring younger generations drives the whole enterprise. It is a visit not to be forgotten.
There's only one original Wright-type aircraft left in private hands. Its restoration offers an excellent opportunity for sponsor recognition. It's a 1911 Burgess-Wright Model F, built by Starling Burgess under license to the Wright brothers. The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority and Washington Airports Task Force have cleared the way for the restored airplane to hang in Reagan National Airport's historic terminal. It will tell a great story. Amazingly, this actual aircraft landed on the White House South Lawn on July 14, 1911. The Burgess-Wright Model F was a pivotal airplane in the lives of some of the most influential aviation pioneers: General Hap Arnold flew Burgess-Wrights. Sir Thomas Sopwith started his company with one. Norman Prince, the founder of the Lafayette Escadrille, soloed in one. The display will be far more than an attractive artifact—it will be an education destination for students and teachers to discover the foundations of aerospace engineering and explore its future through interactive STEM displays. The restoration will be done by the renowned Wright Experience, who own the airplane. Naming rights for the project and display are available and encouraged. This is an ideal project for aerospace leaders to recognize aviation's heritage and inspire its future.
Members can attend for $15 and guests for $25. Lunch will be provided. It will be an exciting event.