The F2W was ordered by the US Navy to enter in the 1923 Pulitzer Trophy. Wright built the aircraft primarily of wood, covered in fabric, and was powered by the Wright T-3 Tornado engine. The first F2W flew for the first time on 2 August 1923.
During the Pulitzer Race, the first F2W ran out of fuel and crashed. The second F2W, which carried twice as much fuel, finished third at 230.06 mph (370.25 km/h). It was later converted into a floatplane to take part in the 1924 Schneider Trophy race. During testing it was very unstable, and crashed into the sea.