The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age

October 11, 2003 – March 27, 2022

National Air and Space Museum
6th St. & Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, East Wing, Wright Brothers, Gallery 209

See on Map Floor Plan

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, this exhibition presents the Wrights' technical achievements and examines the cultural impact of early powered flight. The centerpiece of the gallery is the original 1903 Wright Flyer, displayed on the ground for the first time since the Smithsonian acquired it in 1948. Also on view are 250 photographs and 150 other artifacts, including the stop watch used to time the first powered flights, a Wright wind tunnel test instrument used in unlocking the secrets of aerodynamics, a reproduction of the Wright Brothers' 1899 experimental kite, and full-size reproductions of their 1900 and 1902 experimental gliders.

Hands-on stations and interactive computer stations: both provide an understanding of flight

Free Family Guide

Companion publication by curators Tom Crouch and Peter Jakab, $35 (cloth)