Scale model of the Wright brothers Model 'A' biplane, commissioned by the Industrial & Technological Museum (predecessor to Museum Victoria) and built by Harold P. Wood in 1924-25. Scale 1:16. The model represents the first type of powered aircraft imported and flown in Australia, piloted by Colin Defries at Victoria Park Racecourse, Sydney in December 1909. This aircraft was fitted with a wheeled undercarriage.

Having successfully designed and built the pioneering 'Wright Flyer' aircraft which achieved the first heavier than air powered flight in the world on 17 December 1903, the Wright Brothers refined their aircraft design and developed a new engine. The Wright Model 'A' appeared in 1908 and became the the first aeroplane to enter series production. Examples were flown in America and Europe to promote export sales. Wilbur Wright's extended 1908 flights at Le Mans caused a sensation and inspired a renewed interest in aviation as a practical proposition. Versions of the Model 'A' were built under licence in France and Germany and one example was brought to Australia in 1909 by L.A. Adamson, headmaster of Wesley College in Melbourne. By 1910, the Wright design was technically obsolete and other designs with better control systems and propulsion layouts soon appeared. These control problems may have contributed to the death of The Hon C.S. Rolls (of Rolls-Royce) at Bournemouth in July 1910 while flying a Wright Model 'A' biplane.

Physical Description

Model aeroplane made of wood and lacquered fabric with two sets of wings, stabilisers at the front, rudder at the back, two propellers at the rear and two seats under the main wings. There are no wheels but the wooden frame forms skids under the carriage.

More Information