Wright Model B

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Model B
Burgess Model F replica.jpg
Burgess Model F replica preserved at Hill Aerospace Museum. The Burgess was a license-built variant of the Model B.
Role Sports plane
Manufacturer Wright Company
First flight 1910
Number built ca. 100
Unit cost
Wright Model B reproduction in Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Wright Model B reproduction on display at the Farnborough Airshow 2008
Wright Modified “B” Flyer at the USAF Museum

The Wright Model B was an early pusher biplane designed by the Wright brothers in the United States in 1910. It was the first of their designs to be built in quantity. Unlike the Model A, it featured a true elevator carried at the tail rather than at the front. It was the last Wright model to have an open-frame tail. The Model B was a dedicated two-seater with the pilot and a passenger sitting side-by-side on the leading edge of the lower wing.

Wright Model B Flyer after the first successful firing of a machine gun from an aeroplane in June 1912.

Besides their civil market, the Wrights were able to sell aircraft to the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps (S.C. 3, 4, and 5[1]) and to the United States Navy as hydroplanes (AH-4, -5-, and -6), in which services they were used as trainers. Furthermore, the Wrights were able to sell licenses to produce the aircraft domestically (to the Burgess Company and Curtis, which designated it Model F), as well as in Germany. The deal with Burgess was the first license-production of aircraft undertaken in the United States and most of the approximately one hundred Model Bs produced were actually built by Burgess. A modified Model B, redesignated Model EX (for Exhibition) achieved fame as the Vin Fiz Flyer, the first aircraft to cross the United States. Burgess also planned a refined version as the Model G, but this was never built.


Model B
Two-seat sports biplane, powered by a 35-hp (26-kW) Wright piston engine.
Model B-1
Civil seaplane variant with two steel and aluminum pontoons.
Model B-2
Civil seaplane variant with a single float.
Model EX
This modified Model B was the first aircraft to cross the United States.
Model F
This version was built under license by the Burgess Company.
Model G
Unbuilt version, it was intended to be built by Burgess Company.
Model G Aeroboat
Two aircraft, built for the US Navy in 1913 and 1914, similar to the Model F, and designated AH-19.


 United States

Surviving aircraft and replicas[edit]

At least three original Model Bs were extant in 2007.


General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 26 ft 0 in (7.93 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 0 in (11.89 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
  • Wing area: 480 ft2 (44.6 m2)
  • Empty weight: 800 lb (363 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,250 lb (567 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright Vertical 4, 35 hp (26 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 40 mph (64 km/h)
  • Range: 110 miles (177 km)

See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ The last was a Burgess-Wright Model F.
  2. ^ "Wright Modified "B" Flyer". National Museum of the United States Air Force. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Burgess-Wright Flyer". Hill Air Force Base. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  4. ^ "The Brown Bird". Wright "B" Flyer Inc. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Valentine Flyer". Wright "B" Flyer Inc. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  6. ^ "1910 Wright Model B Reproduction". College Park Aviation Museum. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Object 38: Replica of Wright Brothers Model B Airplane". United States Naval Academy. Retrieved 14 January 2020.

External links[edit]