Treatment by NASM
Beginning in December 1984, the airplane was first completely disassembled and inspected. Other than the fabric covering, which was very dirty and somewhat brittle, the Flyer was in amazingly good shape. The Smithsonian's conservation laboratory prepared a full report on the condition of the artifact before any work was begun.
NASM Wright Flyer restoration, 1984-85
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
The wooden framework was carefully cleaned and where necessary minor repairs were made. Corrosion on the metal fittings and bracing wires was removed and the surfaces treated with preservative. The only major component replaced was the fabric covering.
NASM Wright Flyer restoration, 1984-85
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
NASM Wright Flyer restoration
The engine was completely disassembled and examined to determine which parts remained from 1903 and which were added later by Orville when he first refurbished the Flyer in 1916.
Wright Flyer engine components
Wright Flyer engine components
Wright Flyer engine components
Wright Flyer engine components
Wright Flyer engine components
Wright Flyer engine components
To retain the remaining original paint on the engine, but still refinish it, a coating of light, inert wax was applied before giving it a fresh coat of black paint. If necessary in the future, the new paint and wax can be easily removed to reveal the original paint underneath.
Fully restored Wright Flyer engine.