The “Wright Flyer” was destroyed on the day of the alleged flights, Dec. 17, 1903, by a strong gust of wind that tumbled it over and over on the sands at Kitty Hawk. Its pieces were gathered up and some were distributed to the people who lived there (such as the material on the wings and other parts), while (according to the Wrights) some were stored at Kitty Hawk in their shed and then taken back to Dayton, OH, where the bicycle shop was. Those remaining pieces in their possession endured heavy flooding (were under feet of water) in Dayton, during the ensuing years. Then, with only Orville remaining after Wilbur died in 1912, the Wright Flyer was allegedly reconstructed (in the 20’s, I believe) out of these few salvaged pieces, by Orville, with the intention of displaying it a museum, such as the Smithsonian.
Orville was very much interested in securing his personal fame, having been the “lesser brother” during the years when Wilbur was alive. Reclusive and a poor businessman by nature, Orville had miserably failed the Wright Company, having to sell it about four years after Wilbur’s death. One thing he had left was the desire for fame and to claim the first flight as his (rather than Wilbur’s), which it is definitely not, even if one credits the Wrights with first flight. He bitterly fought to gain this title, as had the brothers together, for their patent suits. The reconstructed Wright Flyer went to London in 1928, sent by Orville, in a fit of temper due to the Smithsonian not recognizing the Wrights (and him, particularly) as solely considered to be “first in powered flight”. The Flyer remained there for 20 years, and only after changes in Smithsonian administrations and apologies did Orville consent to bring the Flyer back. But Orville died (early 1948) before it could be turned over to the Smithsonian. His executors (relatives) eager to cement Orville, according to his wishes, as “first in flight” despite all proof to the contrary, successfully enticed the Smithsonian, in Nov. 1948, to sign a contract that they call “an agreement”, promising not to recognize anyone else as first in flight, or they’d lose the Flyer and it
would revert to the heirs. His friends and family designed the Wright Flyer’s label falsely establishing Orville and the Flyer as “first in flight”. Gustave Whitehead had been shown to fly two years earlier than the Wrights, and Orville had been battling that claim for years before his death.
There is no proof that the Flyer was actually made from original parts. Just as with all the Wrights’ documentation, it is the word of Orville that we must take. Considering he was on a mission for personal fame and had been known to exaggerate and said to outright lie to gain this, he is not the best source.
To this day, the reconstructed Wright Flyer is hanging in the Smithsonian, under the contractual agreement signed in 1948, disallowing the Smithsonian or any of their nearly 200 affiliated museums or research facilities from EVER recognizing anyone else or any other airplane as first in flight. Thus, history was purchased, by contract, it is said.
For more information go to www.historybycontract.org and http://gustavewhitehead.info/smithsonian-conspiracy-to-deny-whitehead-flew-first/ for an article on just exactly what led up to the signing of the Wright Flyer’s contract. This topic has been covered recently by Fox News and other multiple media outlets, with the actual contract located on their website. Photocopy (pdf) of the “Smithsonian-Wright Agreement of 1948″ on Fox News(Fox News, Apr.1, 2013) http://www.foxnews.com/science/interactive/2013/04/01/contract-between-wrights-smithsonian-decrees-flyer-was-first-plane/.