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"The Wright Stuff"
Teterboro Airport celebratating 100 years of aviation
Wright "B" Flyer re-enacts historic 1909 flight around Statue of Liberty on May 25, 2003

Sample of the Teterboro area's
Media coverage

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As seen on CBS Television


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The Wright way to fly

The Record Newspaper, Monday, May 26, 2003

Wilbur’s famous 1909 visit reenacted

TETERBORO - It was a rickety brown sparrow of a plane parked on the runway of Teterboro Airport, not the needle-nosed jets tearing through the sky, that drew a gawking crowd.

Onlookers wondered aloud Sunday whether the twin cloth-covered seats open to the elements, maple propellers, and grapefruit-sized wagon wheels would be able to lift off the tarmac.

Some also gazed in disbelief at the two white-haired men who would circle the Statue of Liberty in the replica 1911 Wright "B" Flyer airplane - a recreation of Wilbur Wright's famous flight on a rainy Memorial Day weekend 94 years ago.

In 1909, Wright soared from New York's Governors Island along the Hudson River to the statue and back in a flight that helped bring the Wright Brothers - who had invented the airplane in 1903 - instant fame in the United States.

Goes 60 mph

Dayton, Ohio-based veteran fighter pilots John H. Warlick, 78, and Bill Sloan, 81, have flown the replica almost weekly since its maiden flight in 1983. Sunday's run over the Statue of Liberty was the first of its kind since Wright's trip.

The plane is similar to those first used for military runs, aside from its modern engine and radio. At its fastest, the 1-ton plane chugs through the air at 60 mph, they said.

"I'd say that it's pretty ponderous to fly," said Sloan, who wore amber-colored glasses and a khaki-colored vintage Army uniform with polished brass buttons, a wide-brimmed hat, and leather boots. "That's the best way to describe it."

Another member of Wright "B" Flyer Inc. - the group that spent eight years building the plane - likened flights to riding on the handlebars of a bicycle.

"I'd be a little scared," said Teddy Visha, 30, an aviation technician, who circled the plane and lightly tapped on its razor-thin two-tiered aluminum wings. "But I think I'd do it."

With New York and North Jersey airspace highly regulated, especially since 9/11, it took organizers weeks to secure federal permission for the flight.

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed a passenger jet carrying troops back from the war in Iraq to pass over the Statue of Liberty. Many onlookers watched in horror that day, thinking another terrorist attack was in progress.

"We realize how nervous everyone is," said Dave Frech, program coordinator for Inventing Flight, a group that sponsored the flight to celebrate the bicentennial of Dayton, home of the Wright brothers. "The NYPD will probably be getting a lot of calls."

The plane hardly looked threatening as it climbed 2,000 feet, as if it were riding a slow Macy's escalator, and quietly puttered through the air toward New York.

Before taking off, Sloan smiled as he imagined people's reactions as he passed overhead.

"We're usually too high to see the looks on people's faces," he said. "That's probably for the best."

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Record Photos by Carmine Glasso

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Here are about two hundred photos and movies
commemorating this historic aviation event

Photos and Stories
Taking off custom trailer's side panels
Preparing to unload Wright "B' Flyer from custom trailer
Assembling front section
Crew before off-loading Wright "B" Flyer
Off-loading Wright "B" Flyer
Attaching the tail section
Attaching the flap
Putting sides back on custom trailer
Assembling and checking seat, pedals, controls, wires, radio, etc.
Installing propeller
Rolling Flyer out to test engine (May 24) & test flight (May 25)

Wright "B" Flyer details
[Engine][Propellers & Chain Drive][Rigging & Wheels][Cockpit & Controls]

Supporting operations
Various parked positions and on public display
Miscellaneous general photos
Onboard museum
Press Releases
Media Coverage

mpeg movies
Image size: 320 x 240  -- Cameras used: Sony F505 & F717
[Movie] Engine test on apron -- May 25 (500k)
[Movie] Engine test on apron #1 -- May 25  (500k)
[Movie] Engine test on apron #2 -- May 25  (500k)

[Movie] Rolling Wright "B" onto apron for public viewing May 26 (800k)
[Movie] Rolling Wright "B" onto apron before starting engines (500k)
[Movie] Taxiing from apron to ramp (1.4 meg)
[Movie] Taxiing from apron onto ramp for test flight (1.1 meg)
[Movie] Test flight from Meadowlands (2.5 meg)
[Movie] Taxiing on the ramp from test flight (700k)
[Movie] Taxiing from the ramp to the apron (1 meg)

Editors note:
Cool effect: [Play] on media player full screen and run continuously
Editors favorite: [Taxiing back] on ramp w/Hasbrouck Heights as the horizon

Successful event thanks to:
Wright "B" Flyer Organization, Inventing Flight/Dayton 2003, National Park Service/Dayton, FAA,  Port Authority NY/NJ, NJ Aviation Hall of Fame, Signature Flight Support, Paramus Flying Club, Civil Air Patrol, Continental Trucking (Sidney, OH -Transported Trailer), Raintree County Images (Documentary Film Makers)

Other Aviation Hall of Fame Photos and Stories
Open Cockpit Day
:  April 26, 2003 [Story]

Santa Arrives by Helicopter
:  December 14, 2002 [Photos]

Tri-State Aviation Expo 2002
[Kitty Hawk Flyer] [General] [Models] [Trucks & Cars]

Wings & Wheels Expo at Teterboro Airport on June 2nd & 3rd, 2001
[General & Military][B-17 Yankee Lady][DC-4 Spirit of Freedom]
[Various aircraft] [Antique Cars]

Photos by Fritz Rethage  2003, All rights reserved. 
Permission required for commercial reproduction.



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