The 1903 Wright Flyer was the first powered heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled sustained flight with a pilot aboard. This historic event took place on 17 December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA, when Orville Wright flew for 12 seconds, covering a distance of 120 feet. Later that day, his brother Wilbur flew for 59 seconds, covering 852 feet. The original aircraft is now in the National Air and Space Museum, Washington.
The Museum’s replica was built in 1963 by the RAF Finningley Vintage Aircraft Group. It achieved a few short hops and was then displayed in the Station Museum collection until 1979, when it was transferred to Cardington for storage. During 1988, it was sold to ‘Bygone Times Antiques Warehouse’ at Eccleston, Lancashire.
From 1991, until it was acquired by the Yorkshire Air Museum in October 1999, it was displayed in the roof of the Leeds Corn Exchange.