Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Burdette S. Wright was born in New Albany, Indiana, and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1915. He later attended George Washington University and obtained a law degree, and in 1925 received his Master's degree from Purdue. His aviation career began during World War I where he was an observer in France for the Army Air Corps. Following the war, Wright became General William (Billy) Mitchell's aide until 1922. When Mitchell was court-martialed in 1925, Wright testified in his defense. Wright set up the first system of air routes in the United States, and introduced various new features for safety and navigation. In 1928, Wright left the army and after two years of practicing law, he accepted a position with the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, of which he became president in 1933. Following the merger of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company with Wright Aircraft Company, Wright became vice president of manufacturing. Wright retired in 1950 and died in 1961 at the age of 67.




Wright, Burdette S.




Elizabeth Burdette Wright, Gift, 1965


0.45 Cubic feet ((1 box))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials



Black-and-white negatives

Plans (drawings)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of five rolls of microfilm (and a Diazo copy of each roll), 93 negatives, three 8.5 by 11 inch drawings of the SPAD XI A2 (S.11 A2), three 8.5 x 11 drawings of the Salmson 2 A2, a memorandum for Lieutenant McDarment, and a copy of Burdette Wright's certificate of appointment to First Lieutenant in the Air Service. The microfilm consists of a complete set (28 volumes) of Burdette Wright's diary from April 6, 1917 to February 15, 1949. The negatives are of select images from Wright's diary.




Black-and-white negatives

Plans (drawings)


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Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company

Wright Aeronautical Corporation

Topics Aeronautics


Burdette S. Wright Diary, Accession number XXXX-0784, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid