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Wright Flyer

The plane that started it all, the Wright Flyer was the culmination of Orville and Wilber Wright's experiments with unpowered gliders. The first flyer flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. The Flyer III, however, was the first machine to make more than a token flight, and was flown by Wilber in 1905 for 39 minutes, covering a distance of 24 miles.


Wright Flyer III

Subassemblies: Heavy Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed skids +0.

Powertrain: 111-kW HP gasoline engine with 11-kW old prop and 3-gallon fuel tank [Wings].

Occ.: 1 XCS Body

Cargo: 0 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Wings: 1/1C 1/1C 1/1C 1/1C 1/1C

Skids: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



Size: 28'x40.5'x8' Payload: 0.11 tons Lwt.: 0.43 tons

Volume: 44 Maint.: 119 hours Cost: $2,818

HT: 12. HPs: 90 each Wing, 3 each Skid.

aSpeed: 35 aAccel: 1 aDecel: 76 aMR: 19 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 18 mph. Take-Off Run: 81 yards. Landing Run: 22 yards.

gSpeed: 81 gAccel: 4 gDecel: 15 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 1

Ground Pressure: High. 1/6 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

The design treats the aircraft as a flying wing, with the chassis being inconsequential (that is, non-existent) in the design. Landing gear from a Recon Fighter chassis was assumed. Wing weight, cost and HPs was divided by four; design weight was 4 lbs. under historical weight. Fuel capacity is a guess based on the duration of the longest flight and the design's fuel consumption. The design uses the Cycle seat option for the pilot, since there is essentially no crew station at all. Historical wing area was 503 sf. Historical values for weight and wing area were used for performance calculations. Design aSpeed is 28 mph.



The Wright Flyer I had a 9-kW engine.

The Wright Flyer II was unsuccessful, but formed the basis for the Wright Flyer III.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic