Homecoming: Replica 1903 Wright Flyer returns to memorial

By on October 3, 2018

The Flyer will rest on a newly designed pedestal in the Flight Room. (NPS/Twitter)

After spending the last two years in exile, the replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer returned to home on Wednesday to the Flight Room of the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitors Center.

The flyer was removed in the winter of 2016 to allow a $5.8 million rehabilitation project, led by Group III Management from Kinston, started in the winter of 2016. The work has brought the building back to the way it appeared when it opened in 1960 — orange trim, concrete and all.

Hurricane Florence delayed the reopening by a month, and it will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20, according to the National Park Service, which operates the memorial in Kill Devil Hills.

The flyer spent about a year on display at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh during the renovations.

It was then transported to the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center for Interpretive Media in West Virginia for conservation work.

After a brief stay at The Wright Experience in northern Virginia, the flyer was trucked to the Outer Banks and placed back in the room that offers a panoramic view of the location of the First Flight and the memorial that sits atop Big Kill Devil Hills.

The National Historic Landmark that opened in 1960 will offer a state-of-the-art interactive experience for the more than 500,000 people that visit each year.





  • Jim Brill

    Huge waste of taxpayer money

    Thursday, Oct 4 @ 8:40 am
  • Jim Brill

    5.8 million ????????? to pour some concrete and paint, etc….. yeh right! Something don’t add up here.

    Thursday, Oct 4 @ 8:42 am
  • tim

    Jim, If you lived in Idaho I maybe could understand your comment. At least it is something we have here to help the area economy out.

    Thursday, Oct 4 @ 10:34 am
  • Janine


    Thursday, Oct 4 @ 12:32 pm
  • Part Time OBX'er

    Jim, $5.8 Million was a bargain for what had to be done to update that building to live for another 50 years! Great Job NPS and NC for not just splashing some paint and pouring some cement – but thank you for investing on the future of this very important monument!

    Friday, Oct 5 @ 9:26 am