Photos: How the Wright brothers landed an Army deal
Flight at Fort Myer
This image shows a slightly earlier edition of the Flyer in September 1908, in a key demonstration at Fort Myer, Va., that helped lead the way to winning the government contract. On September 9 of that year, Orville Wright kept the plane in the air for more than an hour, which was one of the War Department's requirements. The other requirements included carrying a passenger for at least 125 miles at a speed of 40 miles per hour, being steerable in all directions at all times, and landing without damage.
Wright Flyer meets balloon
Orville in flight
In the summer of 1909, the Wright brothers were back at Fort Myer and ready to complete their trials for the Army.
The 1909 Flyer had a 4-cylinder, 30-horsepower engine and weighed 740 pounds. It stood 7 feet, 10.5 inches tall and 28 feet, 11 inches long, with a wingspan of 36 feet, 6 inches.