Friday October 21, 2005
Peter Golkin 202-633-2374
Marni Tamayo 202-633-2377
Public information: 202-633-1000
Web site: http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/pressroom/presskits/wrightbrothers/wbepresskit.cfm
Due to strong public interest, the special exhibition "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" will remain open at the National Air and Space Museum's building on the National Mall in Washington through October 2006.
The exhibit, which opened in October 2003 to mark the centennial of powered flight and was scheduled to close on Oct. 17 of this year, provides an engrossing look at the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright, their technical achievements and the cultural impact of their breakthrough in the decade that followed.
With the extension, the 1903 Wright Flyer--the world's first airplane--will remain the exhibition's centerpiece, in the Mall building's Gallery 209, displayed up close and at eye level for the first time since it was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1948. The Wright Flyer traditionally hangs in the building's central Milestones of Flight gallery.
Some of the 170 artifacts in the exhibition are on loan to the National Air and Space Museum. If loan extensions cannot be obtained or if other artifacts must be removed for conservation purposes, they may be replaced by facsimiles or different materials.
"The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" is made possible through the generous support of Alcoa. Additional support for the exhibition has been provided by: The Alvin, Lottie and Rachel Gray Fund; Fred and Barbara Telling; SI National Board; Fish & Neave; The Gayle H. and Peter Bickers Foundation; The Funger Foundation, Inc., NormaLee and Morton Funger; Daniel Greenberg, Susan Steinhauser and the Greenberg Foundation; Leighton and Carol Read; and Mr. and Mrs. B. Francis Saul II.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the Mall is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25) Admission is free but there is a $12 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Shuttle bus service runs between the facilities, with a roundtrip ticket costing $12. (Group discounts are available.)