REVISED: 10/7/08

Wright, Wright-Bellanca, Wright-Martin

Wright B Harry Atwood uses White House lawn as a runway, 7/14/11 (National Archives)

1903: (Orville & Wilbur) Wright Bros, Dayton OH. 1909: Wright Co; Wright Aeronautical Co Inc. 1916: Company sold to a NYC investment group. 1916: Merged with Glenn L Martin Co and Simplex Automobile Co as Wright-Martin Corp of California, to build Hispano-Suiza motors under license from France. 1920: Reorganized as Wright Aeronautical Corp. 1929: Merged with Curtiss Co as Curtiss-Wright. 1931: Engine divisions of Curtiss and Wright merged. 1946: Woodbridge NJ.

There were countless personal modifications of the Wright machines in the US, such as Beckworth-Wright, J S Berger-Wright, Lemp-Wright, Parmelee-Wright, with owners often claiming hyphenated name credits, as in similar cases with many Curtiss and Burgess planes. In the interest of space conservation they are not catalogued, since most were essentially A and B Fliers. There are several fine reference works specific to the Wright series. Special thanks to Wesley R Smith for helping set things in proper chronological order here.

  Wright A [AS1] (AF Historical Research Agency)

A aka Flier, Military Flyer 1907 = 2pOB; 39hp Wright pusher; span: 36'4" length: 28'0" (some early plans show 27'9" and 27'10") load: 460# v: 44. Its crash on 9/17/08, resulted in powered aviation's first fatality, Lt Thomas Selfridge, who was riding as a passenger with Orville Wright. Rebuilt as 1909 Military Flyer with 30hp Wright; span: 36'6" length: 28'11" load: 460# v: 42. Trials at Ft Myer VA resulted in the first airplane ever purchased by a government—price: $25,000 (plus a $5,000 bonus for exceeding 40mph). Set an endurance record of 1h:02m on 9/9/08 (p: Orville Wright), and performed well (as Knabenshue-Wright) at 1910 Dominguez Hills Air Meet. To Signal Corps as [AS1/SC1], used for pilot training at College Park MD and San Antonio TX until its retirement in March 1911. Presently displayed at NASM. A 1955 replica is displayed at USAF Museum.

A (Transitional Model) 1910 = 2pOB; length: 33'9"; other data similar to Flier, with variations in control surfaces and a rear-mounted, rudimentary stabilizer and elevator, the first such on Wright's machines. Built at the Wright's flight school in Montgomery AL; set new altitude record of 6,000' on 6/17/10 (p: Walter Brookins). POP: at least 3; several built under license in France and Germany.
Aeroboat 1913 = 2pOBFb; 60hp Wright driving two pusher props. Grover Loening. Looked like a standard Model C with undercarriage replaced by a small boat. Motor was mounted forward of the cockpit in the aluminum hull. POP: 1.
AH- SEE B, G, and K.
AO-3 Mohawk aka Iron Horse (Wright Aeronautical) 1927 = 3pOB; 500hp Wright Cyclone; span: 45'0" length: 31'0". "Sold" to Wright Flying Co for "... experimental development tests and furtherance of Bureau of Aeronautics Naval Aviation Program." POP: 1 [X1087] c/n 5; involved in an accident 6/11/29, reg cancelled 8/16/29.
Astra = 1pOB.
  Wright B Stepped floats 1913 (Wright State Univ archives)
  Wright B control room Capt Charles Chandler, 1911 (Merle Olmsted coll)
  Wright B-1 1912

B, B-1, -2, -3 1910-1911 = 2pOB; 30-35hp Wright 4 pusher; span: 39'0" (?>38'0") length: 26'0" (production aircraft; other models to 31'0") v: 45. First Wright use of a true rear elevator and last of the open-frame tail boom models; second and third of the Army planes [AS3/4], also went to USN in 1911 in hydroplane form as AH-4 [B1], -5 and -6. Frank Coffyn used a B as the first to fly under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in 1912, which became a popular diversion with other pilots until city authorities finally slammed the lid on their fun. Produced, as well, in civil seaplane versions as B-1 with two steel and aluminum-alloy pontoons, and -2 with a single, large float in 1913. SEE ALSO Lemp, Parmelee.
Baby Grand, Baby Wright SEE R Roadster.
BB c.1910 (France) = Headless, short-coupled pusher on skids produced under license by Astra.
  Wright C in the factory (Wright State Univ archives)

C, M-1 1912 = Similar to Model B, with 50hp Wright 6-60 pusher; span: 38'0" length: 29'9" v: 45. Dual controls. POP: 7 to Army as M-1 [AS7, AS10/14, AS16]; civil production as Model C unknown, but it featured 4-cyl motor. SEE ALSO Aeroboat.
  Wright CH (Wright State Univ archives)
  Wright CH (AF Historical Research Agency)

CH Hydroaeroplane 1913 = No data; possibly was renamed USN AH-4.
D Scout 1913 = Army scout. 1pOB; 50hp Wright 6-60; span: 26'6" length: 24'11" v: 67. POP: 2 to Signal Corps [SC19/20].
  Wright E [AS10479] (AF Historical Research Agency)

E 1913 = No data.
  Wright EX "Vin Fiz" Cal Rodgers at right, with cousin John Rodgers (WASM coll)

EX 1911 = 1pOB; 35hp Wright pusher; span: 32'0" length: 24'5". POP: 2 long-wing versions of model R. one of which was flown in 1911 by Calbraith P Rodgers, dubbed Vin Fiz Flyer for his soft-drink sponsor, in the first transcontinental flight, from New York to California, with many crashes (including a mid-air collision with an eagle) and repair layovers. At the flight's end in Los Angeles, a rudder and one strut were said to be the only surviving original parts.
  Wright F in the factory, 1914 (Wright State Univ archives)
  Wright F [SC39] (Smithsonian)

F aka "Tin Cow" 1913 = 2pOB; 90hp Austro-Diamler 6 pusher; span: 42'0" length: 29'6" v: 60. First of the fuselage models, this one quite boatlike, but it still retained wing-warping and two chain-driven propellers. Although this designation is often seen applied to the Model B built under license by Burgess as their model F, only one was ever produced by the Wrights, delivered in 1914 to US Signal Corps [SC39]. Evolved into 1915 HS.
  Wright F2W-1 [A-6744] (USN)
  Wright F2W-2 [A-6743] (USN via W T Larkins coll)

F2W 1923 = USN 1pOB and OBF Pulitzer racers. 1pOB; 780hp Wright T-3 Tornado; span: 22'6" length: 21'4" v: 248 ceiling: 36,300'; ff: 8/27/23 (p: L H Sanderson). POP: 2 as F2W-1 [A6743/6744]. The first crashed on landing during trials and was damaged beyond economical repair. The latter was converted to twin floats as F2W-2 in 1924, but also crashed during testing.
F3W Apache 1925 = 1pOB on wheels or twin pontoons; 375hp Wright R-1300 or 450hp R-1340B; span: 27'4" length: 22'1" load: 714# v: 162/x/54 ceiling: 33,000'. POP: 1 as XF3W-1, tested but not put into production [A7223].
  Wright Flier 1 with problems at Kitty Hawk

Flier 1 (or Flyer) 1903 = 1pOB; 12hp 4-cylinder Wright pusher; span: 40'4" length: 21'1" v (est): 35. POP: 1. With this frail machine man's conquest of powered flight came at Kitty Hawk NC on 11/17/03 as Orville Wright made a flight of only 12 seconds. Wilbur bettered this on the third flight of the day with his 59-second endurance. Only three newspapers in the country thought it worthy of passing mention. Of interest is a review of their expenses—the pair had spent less than $1,000 to build and fly their plane, and that included their railroad fares from Dayton to Kitty Hawk and back! US patent #821,393, filed on 3/23/03, was issued on 5/22/06. Contrary to some thought, the familiar launching tower and weight was not used at Kitty Hawk—the plane took off under its own power, and the rails served only as a "runway." Once the Flyer was airborne after a 40' run, a dolly on which it rode rolled into the sand. Wing loading was only 1.47 lbs/sqft, the lowest ever recorded for a successful powered airplane. Their 152# hand-built motor developed 16hp at 1200rpm for the first 15 seconds, then dropped to 12hp at 1020rpm; however, its ability to lift and sustain 62.5# for each provided horsepower was not only unmatched, but never even approached [ed: possibly until only recently—this claim needs researching]. Technically, Wilbur was first to fly, on 12/14/03 but only a brief hop, hardly qualifying as controllable, and damage incurred to the "front rudders" (elevators) required repairs that delayed flight until three days later. SEE: The Wright Flier That Never Did
  Wright Flier 2 at Huffman Prairie

Flier 2 (or Flyer) 1904 = 1pOB; 16hp Wright pusher; ff: 5/23/04. Made a complete circle on 9/20/04—a technological breakthrough. Total flight time in 1904 was about 45 minutes for 105 flights and attempts!
  Wright Flier 3 Canoe attachment (Library of Congress Archives)

Flier 3 (or Flyer) 1905 = 1pOB; 20hp Wright; span: 40'6" length: 28'0" v: 30-35. Separate, hand-controlled rudder. Ostensibly the world's first production airplane, it was able to sustain flights of more than 30 minutes. Offered to the US War Dept for evaluation, who turned it down when they couldn't envision any practical use for a machine that flew. Modified in 1907 for demonstration flights, one of which earned national headlines. On 9/29/09 Wilbur made a five-minute flight around the Statue of Liberty. To the amazement of the crowd, there was a red canoe attached to the bottom of the plane's skis during that flight—if the plane went down into water, Wilbur reasoned, he could use the canoe to float to safety. This feat was repeated on 5/26/2003 by a Dayton group who had built a flying replica of Flyer 3.
  Wright G (AF Historical Research Agency)

G Aeroboat 1913-1914 = 2pOBF. One model each year for USN as AH-19.
  Wright HS
  Wright HS (AF Historical Research Agency)

H, HS 1914 = 2pOB; 60hp Wright pusher; span: 32'0" length: 26'6" v: 100. Twin chain-driven propellers, boatlike fuselage. POP: 5 long- and short-nosed versions produced. HS was 1915 version with shorter-span wings than its Model F predecessor; saw service in the Mexican border campaign.
I (Burgess) 1914 = 2pOBF fir Signal Corps [SC17]. Also seen as Coastal Defense Hydro which adds a note of confusion in model designsations.
J aka Long Bull (Burgess) 1915 = 2pOBF similar to Aeroboat, was license-built civil version of Burgess-Wright C.
  Wright K (1916 Flying)

K 1916 = OBF; 60-70hp Wright. POP: 1 to USN as AH-23 [A51]. Chain-driven, interwing-mounted twin props were evidence that the Wrights by this time were falling behind in aviation technology.
  Wright L

L 1915 = Primary trainer. 2pOB; 100hp Hall-Scott A-7. Similar to Dayton-Wright FS-1 except for a longer wing.
Military Flier SEE A.
  Wright NW-1 [A-6543, A-6544] (USN)
  Wright NW-2 [A-6544] (USN)

NW 1922 = Pulitzer racer with 650hp Packard T-2. POP: 2 as 1pOswM NW-1 [A6543/6544]. The first crash-landed in Lake St Clair, the second was only used as an test-bed for the 750hp Wright Tornado, then modified as 1pOBF -2 for the 1923 Schneider Cup race, but did not compete after a shattered propeller blade tore its float during trail runs.
O-3 SEE Dayton-Wright XO-3.
  Wright Baby Grand1910 (Wright State Univ archives)
  Wright R Roadster (AF Historical Research Agency)

R Roadster 1910 = 2pOB; 30hp Wright 4 with two pusher props; span: 22'0" (?>21'5") length: 19'6" (?>24'0"). Similar 8-cylinder models known as High Flyer and Baby Wright plus Baby Grand, which was 1pOB with 60hp Wright driving two pusher props, no front elevator (span: 26'6" length: 19'6" v: 75). Models also displayed at 1917 Pan-Pacific Aero Exposition (New York) with 75hp Wright and 150hp Hisso.
  Wright racer

Racer c.1912 = 1pOB; headless pusher for competitions, possibly a short-span Model B.
SDW 1924 = L-W-F DT-2 modified as a long-range USN scout with added fuel tanks. 2pOBF; 585hp Wright T-3; span: 50'0" length: 34'3" v: 105 ceiling: 3600'. Twin pontoons. POP: 3 conversions as SDW-1 [A6596, et al].
V 1916 = 1pOB; forward-mounted 150hp Hisso driving two tractor props. Chance Vought.
WP 1923 = Swiss-built Dornier Falke, imported by Wright Co. 1pOhwM; 325hp Wright-Hisso H-3; span: 32'11" length: 24'6" v: 162/142/x ceiling: 19,400'. All-metal, unbraced parasol wing. POP: 1 as WP-1 [A6748].
X 19?? = 1pOB; 30hp Wright 4 pusher.
  Wright-Bellanca WB-1

-Bellanca WB-1 1925 = 5pChwM; 200hp Wright J-4; span: 45'0" length: 24'9" load: 1440# v: 132/100/45; ff: 9/x/21 (p: Lt Fred Becker). Evolved from Bellanca CF. Won efficiency and speed events at the 1925 Nationals (p: Becker). POP: 1. Destroyed in a crash-landing during speed and payload trials in 1926 at Curtiss Field, seriously injuring Becker, described as "one of the Navy's first test pilots."
  Wright-Bellanca WB-2 Columbia (National Archives)

-Bellanca WB-2 1926 = 6pChwM; 220hp Wright J-5; span: 46'4" length: 27'9" load: 1604# v: 126/105/47. POP: 1 built under license from Bellanca Corp for the 1926 Nationals, where it won all efficiency events and the endurance title in 1927 (51h:12m) (p: Clarence Chamberlin, Bert Acosta). Charles Lindbergh placed a bid for this model for his Paris flight, but when company president Charles Levine added a stipulation that he would supply the support crew, Lindy withdrew and went to Ryan Co instead. Production rights were reacquired by Bellanca Corp to build [C/NX/NR237] Columbia for the 1927 New York-Berlin flight (p: Chamberlin with Charles A Levine), in which the useful load was increased to 3550#. Destroyed in a 1934 hangar fire.
  Wright-Martin M-8

-Martin M-8 = Contract-built Loening M-8; production cancelled by WW1 Armistice, but the one for USN [A5631] was likely modified as the Pulitzer racer below.
  Wright-Martin R [AS523] (National Archives)

-Martin R 1917 = 2pOB and OBF; 150hp Hall-Scott A-5a; (landplane) span: 39'9" length: 26'7" v: 93; (floatplane) span: 50'7" length: 27'2" v: 86. Single pontoon. Land version used briefly in the Mexican Border campaign, seaplanes went the Philippines. POP 14 [AS108/109, AS522/533]. Some records show total as 27, which might indicate prior production of 13 by Martin in 1916, before the merger. Some versions had diagonal end-struts replacing the wire bracing.
  Wright-Martin Pulitzer racer (Martin via Paul Matt)

-Martin Racer 1920 = 1pOM; 300hp Wright-Hisso V-8; span: 30'5" lwngth: 24'2"; load: 400# v (avg): 150. Grover Loening. M-8 modified with short-span wings and revised undercarriage for 1920 Pulitzer Race was one of the four leaders when a broken water hose forced USMC Lt B G Bradley to drop out in the final lap.
-Martin V 1916 = 2pOB; 150hp Wright-Simplex A; span: 39'9" length: 27'2" load: 595# v: 90 range: 300. Chance Vought. POP: 1, built for military trials, but the project was never pursued. Sold to a private party after WW1.