The culminating event of the year-long Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum observance of the Centennial of Military Aviation will be an evening public symposium on the 1909 Wright Military Flyer. This aircraft is the world’s first military airplane, a seminal object in the history of aviation. The Wright brothers began the first training of American military pilots in this very airplane at nearby College Park Airport on October 8, 1909. The symposium will cover the history of this important aircraft and the beginnings of U.S. military aeronautics. Included in the presentation will be rarely seen photographs and film footage of the Wright Military Flyer at Fort Myer, Virginia and at College Park, Maryland.
The program will include several of the world’s experts on various aspects of the Wright Military Flyer, including Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum curators Peter Jakab and Tom Crouch; College Park Aviation Museum Director, Cathy Allen; and Ken Hyde and Paul Glenshaw of The Wright Experience, renowned builders of flying reproductions of Wright brothers' aircraft.