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Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the airplane in their West Dayton bicycle shop and made the first powered flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903. Orville's first flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet of ground.
The USU Flyer is one of many Wright replicas or look-alikes that have been built in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of powered flight, but one of only a few built to fly, and the only one built by students from advanced aerospace materials.
The structure is made of carbon-fiber and Kevlar composites, and the double-decker wings spanning 40 feet are covered with modern vinyl aircraft fabric. A Harley Davidson motorcycle engine turns its twin pusher propellers.
The airplane is scheduled to be on display at the Air Power 2003 open house at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on May 10-11. During Dayton's main centennial of flight celebration in July, the flyer is scheduled to be on display at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and at the Vectren Dayton Air Show, Luedtke said. It will return later for a national composites industry show.
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