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Wings Over the Rockies™ Unveils Enhanced Wright Brothers Exhibit

The exhibit opens on Dec. 17: The 120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight.

Denver, CO (Dec. 6, 2023) – Wings Over the Rockies (Wings) is pleased to announce they will unveil an updated Wright Brothers exhibit on the120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight on Dec. 17. The exhibit will open at 12 p.m. with a ribbon cutting event and the public is invited to attend. This updated exhibt was made possible by a generous donation from The Bates Family Foundation. The exhibit includes a new and improved visitor experience including the Wright Flyer simulator and an original Wright Model K Propeller signed by Orville Wright at his home in Dayton in 1944.

“We look forward to having museum guests learn more about the Wright Brothers determination around powering an airplane through a variety of installations from photos to artifacts to a flight simulator,” said Wings Over the Rockies’ President and CEO, Maj. Gen. John Barry, U.S. Air Force (Ret). “Wings is grateful to have passionate supporters who help bring Wings mission to life in educating, inspiring and exiting all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future. A big thanks to Steve Bates for his support over the years, as a donor, board member and volunteer.”

The improved Wright Flyer simulator area will be much roomier, and new walls and graphics will provide more information and context about the Wrights and their historic accomplishment. To make the experience of flying the Wrights’ first airplane even more realistic, the simulator will feature a new projector and a larger, brighter screen. The wrap-around walls adjacent to the screen will have graphics to reinforce a sense of being right there on the sands of Kitty Hawk in late 1903. Wings is also collaborating with Pop Culture Classroom (PCC), an SCFD funded organization, who is providing a graphic novel and lesson plan around the 120th anniversary of the Wright Flyer.

Wilbur and Orville Wright spent four years of research and development to create the first successful powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer. After building and testing three full-sized gliders, the Wrights’ first powered airplane flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, making a 12-second flight, traveling 36 m (120 ft), with Orville piloting. The best flight of the day, with Wilbur at the controls, covered 255.6 m (852 ft) in 59 seconds.

In addition to the Wright Brothers’ accomplishments, this exhibit also introduces their sister Katharine, sometimes called “the third Wright brother” because of her unwavering support and contributions.