Wright Company

The Wright Company was the commercial aviation business venture of the Wright Brothers, established by them on November 22, 1909, in conjunction with several prominent industrialists from New York and Detroit with the intention of capitalizing on their invention of the practical airplane.[1][2] The company maintained its headquarters office in New York City and built its factory in Dayton, Ohio.

Wright Company
Founded22 November 1909
FateMerged with Glenn L. Martin Company in 1916
HeadquartersNew York, New York, Dayton, Ohio
Key people
Wright Brothers

The two buildings designed by Dayton architect William Earl Russ and built by Rouzer Construction for the Wright Company in Dayton in 1910 and 1911 were the first in the United States constructed specifically for an airplane factory and were included within the boundary of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in 2009.[3]

The Wright Company concentrated its efforts on protecting the company's patent rights rather than on developing new aircraft or aircraft components, believing that innovations would hurt the company's efforts to obtain royalties from competing manufacturers or patent infringers. Wilbur Wright died in 1912, and on October 15, 1915, Orville Wright sold the company, which in 1916 merged with the Glenn L. Martin Company to form the Wright-Martin Company.[4] Orville Wright, who had purchased 97% of the outstanding company stock in 1914 as he prepared to leave the business world, estimated that the Wright Company built approximately 120 airplanes across all of its different models between 1910 and 1915.[5]

Many of the papers of the Wright Company are now in the collection of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, while others are held by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.[6][failed verification] The Library of Congress also holds the papers of Grover Loening, the second Wright Company factory manager, while the papers of Frank H. Russell, the first plant manager, are at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center.

Wright aircraftEdit

The following is a complete list of aircraft built under the Wright name, from the earliest test craft to the last products of the company before it merged with Martin. Note that only the aircraft built from the Model B onwards were built by the Wright Company itself.

Early test glidersEdit

Early powered aircraftEdit

Wright Company aircraftEdit

Wright Company enginesEdit


  1. ^ "Big Men of Finance Back the Wrights". The New York Times. 23 November 1909.
  2. ^ Tom D. Crouch. "Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation's Capital, 1909-1914": 44. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Entries for 27 August 1910 and 5 April 1911, Box 3, Frank Henry Russell Papers, Collection 11624, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming; Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, P.L. 111-11, 30 March 2009.
  4. ^ Roach, Edward (2014). The Wright Company: From Invention to Industry. Athens: Ohio University Press. ISBN 9780821420515.
  5. ^ Sales number in Orville Wright to Pliny W. Williamson, telegram, 21 June 1915, General Correspondence: Williamson, Pliny W., 1915, Box 66, Wright Brothers Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ O’Neill, Craig (26 February 2002). "Museum of Flight Acquires "Lost" Wright Archives". Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority. Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  7. ^ "The Wright Fleet". Air & Space/Smithsonian. March 2003.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Wright Company at Wikimedia Commons