“Aviation has gone beyond my dreams."
— Orville Wright

The invention of the airplane by Wilbur and Orville Wright is one of the great stories in American history. The Wright brothers’ invention not only solved a long-studied technical problem, but helped create an entirely new world.

The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age explores who Wilbur and Orville Wright were, what they achieved and how they did it, and how the world first reacted to their revolutionary invention. At the center of the story and the heart of the gallery is the original 1903 Wright Flyer, one of the most iconic artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection. 

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Location in Museum National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
Gallery 107
First floor, south side of building, one gallery west of center.
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Related Topics: Aviation Early flight People Records and Firsts Technology and Engineering Take a Look Inside the Gallery

The entrance to the gallery.

A view of the inside of The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age.

Preview the exhibit with a teaser video... ...or take a step inside! Take a virtual tour of the exhibit Learn More About the Wrights The Wright Brothers Researching the Wright Way
Dive Deeper into the Wright Brothers' Story
Innovators in Early Flight The Airplane in Early 20th Century Culture Power and Control in the Air
Who Were the Wright Brothers? Before the Wrights Were Aviators The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk The Military Gets Its Wings The Roar of the Crowd

The Museum gratefully acknowledges those who have generously supported this gallery.

David M. Rubenstein

AES Corporation

Frederick and Barbara Clark Telling

Tom and Eileen Culligan
Julia and Frank Daniels Jr.
The James Dicke Family
James M. and Anita K. Guyette
C. Jeffrey and Katherine J. Knittel
Spirit AeroSystems

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A major renovation is underway as we reimagine our galleries and presentation spaces in our iconic National Mall building in Washington, DC. Join us as we inspire a new generation of pioneers and explorers.

Learn About Our Transformation