National Museum of the United States Army Receives Grant

The National Museum of the United States Army announced a grant from FedEx Corp. (FDX) for $1 million in support of the only existing reproduction of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s 1908 Wright Flyer, which will be a featured exhibit in The Army and Society Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Army.

The 1908 Wright Flyer is an exact reproduction and was considered an essential artifact by Museum staff. According to MG John P. Herrling (USA-Ret.), Executive Director of the Museum’s capital campaign, the Wright brothers were having difficulty interesting investors in their flying inventions in 1908. At the same time, the Army was looking to acquire a flying machine that with two people on board (one pilot and one passenger) could fly for at least an hour at a minimum speed of forty miles per hour. When Army test flights were completed, the Wright brothers sold the Army its first airplane and the age of manned flight had dawned.