The Wright Flyer hung in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries building from 1948 until 1976, when it was moved to the new National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Cleaning and a few minor repairs were made at that time, but in 1984 and 1985 the Smithsonian performed a thorough preservation treatment on the Flyer. It was the first time since Orville's refurbishment of the Flyer in late 1926, early 1927 that anyone had an opportunity to study the famous airplane in intimate detail.
A Unique Viewing Opportunity
Not to deprive visitors their opportunity to see the Flyer, treatment was performed in a special gallery in the Museum on public view, rather than at the Museum's off-site restoration facility where such work is normally done.
NASM restoration technicians, Karl Heinzel, Richard Horigan, and Reed Ferguson had the honor of working on the world's first airplane.
The Wright Flyer being restored on public view in the NASM, 1984-85.