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Kitty Hawk Anniversary

December 11, 2013

On Dec. 17, 2003, America looked back a century to celebrate the first successful flight of a powered airplane. Ten years after the Centennial of Flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s achievement at Kitty Hawk is still inspiring creativity and provoking discussion. In time for this year’s anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is introducing 21st-century projects that relate to the brothers and their 1903 Flyer, one of the Smithsonian’s most iconic artifacts, and shining a light on its popular exhibition, “The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age.”

Wright Brothers Flight Crop
Related releases: 

Anniversary Projects Span the Aerial Age to the Digital Age

National Air and Space Museum Marks Kitty Hawk Anniversary

First in Flight
Related fact sheets: 

First in Flight . . . Still the Wrights

When it comes to making news, themes such as a major discovery, a lingering mystery or a controversy are sure to grab headlines. The claim that Gustave Whitehead, not Orville and Wilbur Wright, made the first powered flight in an airplane has all of these elements and more.

Wright Brothers

National Air and Space Museum

Director: Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)
Total Full-Time Employees: 285
Annual Budget (federal and trust) FY 2014: $26.7 million
Approximate Number of Artifacts/Specimens: 63,000

Related photos: 

1903 Wright Flyer

1903 Wright Flyer

Photo: Eric Long, Smithsonian

The 1903 Wright Flyer hangs in the Milestones of Flight Gallery at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Image Number: WEB10109-2004

1903 Wright Flyer

1903 Wright Flyer

Photo: Eric Long, Smithsonian

The original 1903 Wright Flyer is the centerpiece of "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Image Number: SI2003-35575

1903 Wright Flyer and Exhibits

1903 Wright Flyer

Photo: Eric Long, Smithsonian

The original 1903 Wright Flyer is the centerpiece of "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Image Number: 2006-24427

1903 Wright Flyer in Flight

1903 Wright Flyer in Flight

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

With Orville Wright at the controls and Wilbur Wright mid-stride, right, the 1903 Wright Flyer makes its first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17, 1903.

Image Number: SI2003-3463

Wilbur and Orville Wright in Dayton, Ohio

Wilbur and Orville Wright

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Wilbur, left, and Orville Wright sit on the porch steps of their Dayton, Ohio, home in June 1909.

Image Number: SI2002-16615

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Wright Brothers Statement78.11 KB
Wright Brothers Q&A68.3 KB
Wright - Smithsonian Contract.pdf379.37 KB

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