|Fate||Merged with Glenn L. Martin Company in 1916|
|Founded||22 November 1909|
|Headquarters||New York, New York, Dayton, Ohio|
|Key people||Wright Brothers|
The Wright Company was the commercial aviation business venture of the Wright Brothers, established by them on 22 November 1909 in conjunction with several prominent industrialists from New York and Detroit with the intention of capitalizing on their invention of the practical airplane. The company maintained its headquarters office in New York City and built its factory in Dayton, Ohio.
The two buildings designed by Dayton architect William Earl Russ and built by Rouzer Construction for the Wright Company in Dayton in 1910 and 1911 were the first in the United States constructed specifically for an airplane factory and were included within the boundary of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in 2009.
The Wright Company concentrated its efforts on protecting the company's patent rights rather than on developing new aircraft or aircraft components, believing that innovations would hurt the company's efforts to obtain royalties from competing manufacturers or patent infringers. Wilbur Wright died in 1912, and on October 15, 1915, Orville Wright sold the company, which in 1916 merged with the Glenn L. Martin Company to form the Wright-Martin Company. Orville Wright, who had purchased 97% of the outstanding company stock in 1914 as he prepared to leave the business world, estimated that the Wright Company built approximately 120 airplanes across all of its different models between 1910 and 1915.
Many of the papers of the Wright Company are now in the collection of the Seattle Museum of Flight, while others are held by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress also holds the papers of Grover Loening, the second Wright Company factory manager, while the papers of Frank H. Russell, the first plant manager, are at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center.
The following is a complete list of aircraft built under the Wright name, from the earliest test craft to the last products of the company before it merged with Martin. Note that only the aircraft built from the Model B onwards were built by the Wright Company itself.
Early test gliders
Early powered aircraft
Wright Company aircraft
- 1909 Military Flyer
- 1909-1910 Model A-B
- 1910 Model B
- 1910 Model Ex
- 1910 Model R
- 1911 Glider
- 1912 Model C
- 1912 Model D
- 1913 Model CH
- 1913 Model G Aeroboat
- 1913 Model E
- 1913 Model F
- 1914 Model H
- 1915 Model HS
- 1915 Model K
- 1916 Model L
Wright Company engines
- "Big Men of Finance Back the Wrights". The New York Times. 23 November 1909.
- Tom D. Crouch. Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation's Capital, 1909-1914. p. 44.
- Entries for 27 August 1910 and 5 April 1911, Box 3, Frank Henry Russell Papers, Collection 11624, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming; Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, P.L. 111-11, 30 March 2009.
- Roach, Edward (2014). The Wright Company: From Invention to Industry. Athens: Ohio University Press. ISBN 9780821420515.
- Sales number in Orville Wright to Pliny W. Williamson, telegram, 21 June 1915, General Correspondence: Williamson, Pliny W., 1915, Box 66, Wright Brothers Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
- "The Wright Fleet". Air & Space/Smithsonian. March 2003.
Media related to Wright Company at Wikimedia Commons