Our Progress
This is our Progress Log. Entries are listed below, beginning with the most recent. We are frequently updating this page, so please check back often!

Also, check our links to other related sites page.

Tuesday, 12/2/2003 - History Channel - The Wright Challenge, 12/9/03 - 8pm
  See the Wright Redux Association's story on the History Channel December 9, 2003 at 8:00 central time. The stories will be told of four separate groups who have built 1903 Wright Flyer replicas and variations of the Flyer. See a repeat performance on Dec 17, 2003 at 7pm and again at 11pm. Details at HistoryChannel.com/wright/.

Wednesday, 11/19/2003 - "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" on Display at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry
  Today November 19, 2003 the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" 1903 Wright Flyer Replica was placed on display in the central rotunda of the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry. See the photos.

Saturday, 9/20/2003 - The Windy City Wasn't!

It was a bright, clear, beautiful day, but the calm wind conditions grounded the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn." The American Flag posted in front of the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago was our wind indicator. And a mere whisper of wind barely fluttered the flag. The Wright Redux and Packer Engineering crews made a valiant attempt to fly the 1903 Wright Flyer replica but without the 26 mile per hour wind that the Wright Brothers experienced at Kitty Hawk, the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" would not take to the air.

Two attempts were made in the westerly direction without success. When the wind picked up from the east, the crews moved the launch rail to the opposite end of the museum's lawn to launch in the easterly direction. Two more attempts were made but the winds were just not strong enough. Although the engine RPMs were slightly greater than that of the original Wright Flyer, the deciding factor came down to the wind speed. It just wasn't there for our replica Flyer to become airborne.

The crowd of folks who came to see us fly were incredibly patient and supportive during the two hours that they stood and watched. The cheers and applause they gave to us were truly heartfelt and appreciated. The Wright Redux and Packer Engineering crews want to thank you all for coming out to see us.

The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" Wright Flyer replica will be placed on display in the museum's rotunda about the end of October (approx 5 weeks from now) for everyone to see. Also, be sure to view the additional exhibit (open now) showing some of the artifacts of the "Spirit's" construction. In addition, a four minute video will give you a look at the replica Flyer actually flying during some of its test phases. We will continue to add more information and photos on this website as the Flyer is placed on exhibit in the museum.

Thank you all for your interest and support.

Friday, 9/19/2003 - Chicago Museum of Science And Industry to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Flight With Wright Flyer Replica,

1903 Wright FlyerReplica to Make its First Public Flight at Museum on September 20

CHICAGO, September 19, 2003 - This year marks 100 years since the Wright brothers first flew their 40-foot biplane across the sands at Kitty Hawk, N.C.-the world's first controlled, powered flight.

The Wright Redux Association in cooperation with Packer Engineering built a 1903 Wright Flyer Replica called the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" and it will make its first public flight September 20 at 9:00 a.m. on the Museum's front lawn. The biplane will become part of the Museum's permanent collection after the flight.

The Wright Redux Association of Glen Ellyn is a nonprofit group that came together four years ago to build a replica of the Wright brothers' plane that took flight near Kitty Hawk, N.C. 100 years ago. Over 30 companies donated their time and services to help make this flyer. The Wright Redux group built the body of the replica and Packer Engineering built the engine.

The Wright brothers never left any detailed drawings and only worked from sketches and experience. In order to build the Replica Flyer, The Wright Redux Association had to acquire the blueprints for the original from the Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian.

Before it could make a public flight, the Wright Redux Association had to submit to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations to comply with modern standards and on March 31, 2003, the Replica Flyer was certified as an "Experimental, Exhibition" aircraft and will complete certification by completing ten test flights.

After it's flight, the Wright Flyer Replica will be displayed in the Museum's Rotunda accompanied by story panels about how it was built. The Wright Flyer will be officially donated to the Museum's permanent collection on Dec. 17, 2003 - the anniversary of the first powered flight.

The Wright Redux Association is a not-for-profit volunteer association dedicated to the construction and flying of an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer.

Packer Engineering, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting and technical services company with offices in Naperville, Illinois, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Houston, Texas and Washington D.C. Their clientele includes private individuals, insurers, manufacturers, industrial processors, utilities, government and law enforcement agencies, and their representing attorneys. Packer offers engineering investigation and analysis, customized and routine testing, accident investigation and reconstruction, failure analysis, and pretrial and courtroom testimony. Packer distinguishes itself by maintaining complete in-house laboratory facilities, including extensive visual and information services.

The Museum of Science and Industry's mission is to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational. Located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, just minutes from downtown Chicago, the Museum is open every day of the year except December 25. Special Museum hours will be held from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in effect Sept. 20-21 for the centennial celebration. General admission is $9 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and $5 for children ages 3-11. (City of Chicago resident pricing: $8 for adults, $6.75 for seniors and $4.25 for children ages 3-11). For more information, call (773) 684-1414 or visit our website at www.msichicago.org. Outside of the Chicago area, call 1 (800) GO-TO-MSI (1-800-468-6674).

Thursday, 9/18/2003 - Flyer Repaired, Tested, Ready!
  The Wright Flyer replica, "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" has been repaired, tested, and is ready. Today the Flyer was moved from Clow Airport to her new home at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

Wednesday, 9/17/2003 - Schedule of Events for Sept 20 & 21 at the Museum of Science and Industry

Saturday Sept. 20

8:00am - 4:00pm Entire Museum Open
8:30 - 9:00am FAA Briefing for Wright Redux Association (tent, front lawn)
9:00 - 11:00am The recreation of the first powered flight (front lawn, conditions permitting)
11:00am - 4:00pm See the "Spirit of Gen Ellyn" & meet the team that built it (tent, front lawn)
11:00am - 4:00pm Microsoft Wright Flyer Simulator (Rotunda)
11:00am - 3:00pm Tuskegee Airmen (Adventures In Flight Exhibit)
All Day Opening of Adventures in Flight Celebrating 100 years of Flight (C-117)









Sunday Sept. 21

8:00am - 4:00pm Entire Museum Open
8:00am - 4:00pm See the "Spirit of Gen Ellyn" & meet the team that built it (tent, front lawn)
9:00am - 4:00pm Chicago Parent Promotion (Rotunda, under ToyMaker banner). -Readers can redeem a flyer for a balsa glider.
11:00am - 3:00pm Tuskegee Airmen (Adventures In Flight Exhibit) Find out more information about their young eagles program.
All Day Opening of Adventures in Flight Celebrating 100 years of Flight (C-117)

Sunday, 9/7/2003 - Replica Engine First Start-Up on Flyer Airframe
  Today we started for the first time, the replica engine in its new home atop the Flyer's airframe. Come read the story and see images of the day. Story and images.

Tuesday, 9/2/2003 - "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" to fly September 20, 2003 at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry.

Wright Redux Association & Packer Engineering will attempt to fly our 1903 Wright Flyer Replica "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" on the front lawn of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

The flights will take place during the Museum's "Adventures in Flight" celebration of the 100th anniversary of powered flight on Saturday, September 20, between 9-11 AM. The city will close some streets to traffic during this time window. We will attempt to fly multiple times in the two hours, or until we break something. The flights will be about 200 feet in length at an altitude of 6 to 10 feet, if our pilots can exert that fine a control on the craft.

After this flying exhibition, the Flyer will be on static display on the lawn of the Museum during the rest of the "Adventures in Flight" celebration on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st. Then the Museum will move the Flyer inside to become part of their permanent exhibit of famous aircraft.

Due to the configuration of the property at the Museum, spectator room will be limited, so mark you calendars and bring the kids and your friends.

At the conclusion of this weekend in September, our project to honor the Wright Brothers will be concluded, unless of course we break something that has to be fixed before the Museum can put the Flyer on display.

Sunday, 8/17/2003 - "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" Displayed at the Chicago Air & Water Show

Wright Redux Association proudly displayed the Wright Flyer Replica at the Chicago Air and Water Show from Friday August 15th through Sunday August 17th. A crowd estimated at 2 million packed the Lake Michigan beaches to enjoy the incredible flying techniques of the many types of aircraft. Among them were the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" was placed on exhibit in all her glory beneath a fifty-foot tent right on the beach. Hundreds if not thousands of spectators passed through the tent to view and ask questions about the Wright Brothers and the replica on display. Wright Redux and Packer Engineering crewmembers spent many hours talking to and educating the many curious who wanted to know more.

The Thunderbirds overhead provided a stark contrast to our replica of the world's first powered aircraft. Photos of the event will be posted soon.

Sunday, 8/3/2003 - Two More Successful Flights
  Today the crew of the Wright Redux Association again launched the Wright Flyer, resulting in two very successful flights. Ken Kirincic and Mike Gillian each took their turn at piloting the Spirit of Glen Ellyn on this beautiful day for flying. Two more flights were logged for our record book. Come see the photos.

Saturday, 7/19/2003 - Revell-Monogram Company Donates Wright Flyer Models to Wright Redux Crew

Sven Davies of the Revell-Monogram Company presented Wright Flyer model kits to the Wright Redux Association. It was a wonderful surprise for the happy crew to receive the donated kits. The 1:39 scale Wright Flyer is accurate to the original aircraft and many of the artifacts of the 1903 flight. It includes the launch track, the launch dolly, bench, shovel, oil pail, starter generator, clamp and of course Wilbur and Orville.

Thank you Revell-Monogram and thank you Sven.

Monday, 7/14/2003 - Big Events for Wright Redux and Packer Engineering

The Annual Oshkosh Air Show will play host to Packer Engineering's scratch-built 1903 Wright 4-Cylindar Engine Replica. Watch and listen as the Packer Team fire up this mechanical work of art.
July 29th to August 3rd

Mark your calendars for the Chicago Air & Water Show where the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" will be on display for the world to see.
August 16th and 17th

The Grand Finale will take place at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. On the lawn in front of the museum the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" will take flight to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers flight into the history books. After this event the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" will be placed on permanent display inside the museum.
September 20th and 21st

Sunday, 6/29/2003 - The Wright Flight Festival was a great success.

An estimated 2000+ people visited the Packer Wings hangar to view the 1903 Wright Flyer Replica "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" up close and personal, as well as the fully assembled Packer Wings 1903 Wright Replica Engine.

While John Nowicki talked to visitors about how he and his Packer team built their replica engine, several Wright Redux team members related their experiences during the construction of the replica Flyer.

We thank all the many volunteers who were involved in making this educational Wright Flight Festival the success that it became.

Monday, 6/9/2003 - Wright Flight Festival

Date - Saturday June 28, 2003
Time - 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Cost - Tax Deductible Donation of $10 for Adults, $5.00 for children (tickets sold at airport)
Place - Clow International Airport, 130 So. Clow International Parkway, Bolingbrook, IL 60490

On Saturday, June 28, 2003, plan to attend the "Wright Flight Festival" (Fly-In & Drive-In) to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the historic 1903 Wright Brother's powered flight. The Wright Redux Association and Packer Engineering built a 1903 Wright Flyer Replica and engine with the help of volunteer and students from all over the Midwest. The production of this replica has led to a great show of "Grassroots Midwestern Volunteerism" at its best.

The "Wright Flight Festival" highlights and commemorates the inventions, triumphs, and ingenuity of past, present, and future aviation pioneers. Join the activities at the Packer Wings (non-profit foundation) hanger at Clow International Airport.

The day includes a pancake breakfast, which is a tax deductible of $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children (tickets to be sold at the airport), plus a static display of the 1903 Wright Flyer Replica called "The Spirit of Glen Ellyn," Young Eagles Flights, the raffling of Wright Flyer memorabilia, and much more. Proceeds from this event will benefit educational youth programs that promote the science of aviation along with Mercy Flights for individuals requiring transportation for medical reasons. Corporate and private donations are welcome.

For additional information, log onto www.packereng.com/wrightflightfestival or call 630-505-5722 and ask for the Aerospace Department. For a map go to the airport, go to www.clowairport.com/general_info.asp.

Thursday, 5/1/2003 - Aero-News.net Posts Our Story
  The aircraft enthusiast website Aero-News.net covered our story on their feature page, including photos. Thanks guys! Come see it here.

Monday, 4/28/2003 - 'Spirit of Glen Ellyn' 1903 Wright Flyer Replica Takes to the Air!

Wright Redux Association Airplane Achieves First Flight of 136 Feet.

GLEN ELLYN, Ill., April 28 -- The Wright Redux Association's 1903 Wright Flyer replica "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" went airborne yesterday at Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook, IL, flying 136 feet from the end of the launch rail. At 4:45 PM, pilot Ken Kirincic throttled the plane's engine and launched himself and Wright Redux into history becoming the first 1903 Wright Flyer replica to achieve free, powered flight in this 100th anniversary year of the first flight. See photos.

"The conditions were perfect," said pilot Kirincic of Glen Ellyn. "I knew when we released the machine into the 15 mph southerly wind and felt it gain a lot of speed going down the launch rail that we had a good chance to get the 'Spirit of Glen Ellyn' off the ground. The plane took to the air beautifully and I managed to land it without any damage."

Yesterday's flight was the culmination of a four-year effort to fund, build and fly an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Working primarily from information in the Wright Brothers' journals, original Wright photographs, and information obtained from the National Air and Space Museum, the Wright Redux Association succeeded where many have failed.

"It's hard to describe what yesterday's flight means to this group," said Co-President, Mark Miller. "All the work and all the planning came down to one moment. It just came together unbelievably well. I can't say enough about this group of people. Sunday's result just goes to show you what determination, persistence, and today, a little bit of luck can lead to. I am mighty proud to be a part of this effort and continue to be awed by what Orville and Wilbur Wright accomplished 100 years ago."

Ted Craft, Wright Redux Co-President pointed out, "Yesterday was the culmination of a lot of difficult, but it appears correct, decisions made by this group. So much of what we did had no plan. Chasing the solutions to the multitude of problems we faced was at times hard. There were moments when I wondered how the Wright Brothers accomplished what they did. But after watching our plane fly yesterday, I am extremely pleased with everything we decided to build into our plane. The wing solution; the propeller solution; the gearing solution ... all proved to be correct and the 'Spirit of Glen Ellyn' performed remarkably well."

"We damaged the plane on Saturday and again on Sunday during our tow tests and overcame both of these to go on and fly the 'Spirit of Glen Ellyn' on Sunday afternoon," said Mike Perry, Secretary/Treasurer of Wright Redux. "This Wright Redux team never gives up. We repaired the machine after the last crack up and what you saw Sunday afternoon was the result of pure determination. I believe the spirit of Wright Redux is similar to the attitude the Wrights demonstrated 100 years ago."

Packer Engineering was instrumental in the success of this accomplishment. Their aeronautical engineering expertise was critical to achieving FAA certification of the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" as an Experimental Exhibition aircraft, the testing regimens and to the success of the first flight attempt.

"The Wright Redux team is to be commended for this flight," said Ken Packer, PhD, PE, Chief Engineer of Packer Engineering. "Our team has been in love with this project since we first got involved. We are happy to contribute our expertise to this endeavor. It is exciting to participate in recreating the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers. The next milestone is to fly again using the replica engine that our team is building for the Flyer.

The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" will fly on the front lawn of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), September 20-21, 2003 as the highlight of the City of Chicago's observance of the centennial of the Wrights' first flight in 1903. Following those flights, the plane will be donated to the MSI where it will be displayed as part of the museum's permanent aviation collection.

Tom Norton and Mark Miller founded the Wright Redux Association in 1999. These two Glen Ellyn men set out to build and fly an exact replica of the Wright 1903 Flyer. Neither Norton nor Miller is a pilot and neither had previously attempted to build a flying aircraft. As the project continued, several talented volunteers joined the Wright Redux team. Along with Ted Craft and Mike Perry, principle Wright Redux workers included: Chuck Clendenin, Turk Tilev, Jeff Knuckles, Bill and Jean Mumford, Erin Norton, and Rick Perry.

Primary financial and material sponsors of the Wright Redux Association are The Museum of Science and Industry, National Geographic, The Wheaton-Glen Ellyn Community Bank, The Glen Ellyn Jaycees, Packer Wings, NFP and the Horn Lumber Company of Chicago.

Monday, 3/17/2003 - Wright Redux Association Receives Airworthiness Certificate from Federal Aviation Administration

FAA: "Plane Cleared to Attempt Powered Flight"

Glen Ellyn, Illinois, March 17, 2003 - Following an inspection by personnel from the DuPage Flight Standards District Office, West Chicago, the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday, March 15th, presented the Wright Redux Association with an Airworthiness Certificate for their replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. The plane, called the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" is now cleared to attempt powered flight.

The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" appears to be the first Wright Flyer replica that is being certificated in accordance with a new FAA Policy, designed specifically for 1903 Wright Flyer replica aircraft. The DuPage Flight Standards District Office was a great asset in meeting today's milestone. Wright Redux's contact with them over a year ago helped steer the association through Saturday's certification process.

"We have been waiting for this day for three years," said Mark Miller, co-president of Wright Redux. "We are now very close realizing our dream of flying this replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. It's been an amazing team effort and now it looks like we are going to make this happen."

Ted Craft, co-president stated," Our job now is to get our pilots getting comfortable with the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn." We believe a couple more weeks of test "towing" with our flat bed trailer and we will be ready to fly early this spring."

"The effort to build an exact replica has been time consuming, and at some points, very difficult," said Mike Perry, secretary of Wright Redux. "But we began this dedicated to the proposition that we would build the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" as a complete 1903 Wright Flyer "replica" and we believe we have achieved that goal."

1903 Wright Flyer replica details built into the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" include an exact copy of the Wright's 11 horsepower, water-cooled, gasoline powered, four-stroke, four cylinder, internal combustion aluminum engine that is being built by Packer Engineering of Naperville; creation of a muslin wing fabric that an analysis by the International Textile Center at Texas Tech University at Lubbock found is one thread off the original Wright fabric (216, "Spirit of GE" v. 217, original); and an airframe that is constructed of 100 percent authentic Sitka spruce and ash, all donated by Horn Lumber of Chicago.

"The Spirit of Glen Ellyn" is scheduled to fly publicly on the front lawn of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, September 20-21, 2003 as the featured highlight of the City of Chicago's Centennial of Flight observance this fall. Following those flights, the plane will be donated to the museum for permanent display. The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" will be officially unveiled to the public at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry on December 17, 2003, 100 years to the day after the Wrights first flew at Kitty Hawk, NC.

Wright Redux also announced that History Channel is video taping the effort to fly the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" for inclusion in a documentary on the centennial of flight that is scheduled to be aired on the History Channel this fall.

The Wright Redux Association is a not-for-profit volunteer association dedicated to the construction and flying of an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer.

Saturday, 3/15/2003 - The "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" is FAA Certified!
  The Wright Redux Association received the Special Airworthiness Certificate today in the category of "Experimental" and for the purpose of "Exhibition." See the certificate and a happy Wright Redux Association crew.

Sunday, 2/2/2003 - Final Props Mounted and Tested
  Today we mounted and spin-tested the final props. Conclusion? Smooth and successful! Photos.

Saturday, 2/1/2003 - Lift Tests with Pilot
  We made our first lift tests today with a pilot. Mike Gillian positioned himself across the lower wing as we tested him and the Spriit of Glen Ellyn together. For the first time, we achieved lift with a pilot aboard. Photos.

Wednesday, 1/8/2003 - Packer Replica Engine
  Packer Engineering is making progress on the Spirit of Glen Ellyn's Wright Replica engine. Photos show some of the manufacturing processes.

Sunday, 12/8/2002 - Special Visitors Throughout the Day

Sunday was a very busy day with visitors. Our first guests were two VIPs from the Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago. They were Kurt Haunfelner, Vice President of Exhibits and Collections and Mark Hayward, Director of Collection, Head Curator. They came out to see our progress on the Spirit of Glen Ellyn Wright Flyer and discuss tentative plans for displaying the plane in the museum's Great Hall in 2003. Among the topics discussed were how the Wright Flyer will fit into the City of Chicago's plans to celebrate the Centennial of Flight. It was an exciting discussion.

The Spirit of Glen Ellyn Wright Flyer was also visited by Windy City Chapter of Women in Aviation. About a dozen of their members and friends were very pleased to view the Spirit and listen to Mark Miller give a presentation.

Another of our guests was Bob Burgdorfer of Reuters News Service who interviewed the Wright Redux crew for a possible news story. Bob, a pilot himself who often flys out of Clow airport, got wind of our project from the folks around the airfield. See photos of the day.

Sunday, 10/27/2002 - Weight and Balance
  Ed Meyer (FAA Certified) officially performed and documented the weight and balance of the Spirit of Glen Ellyn. The good news is she has a center of gravity dead-on to the crown of her wings. This is the best possible place for an aircraft's CG. The bad news? She's slightly over weight. But we have a good idea of the cause and plan to remedy that over the upcoming weeks. See photos.

Sunday, 10/20/2002 - Lift Tests
  More lift tests of the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" continue to prove good results. See photos.

Tuesday, 10/15/2002 - Spirit of Glen Ellyn Successfully Completes Lift Test

Plane Looks "Good-to-Go" for Engine-Driven Flight

Glen Ellyn, Il., October 15, 2002 - The Wright Redux Association of Glen Ellyn, working with Packer Engineering of Naperville, today announced that The Spirit of Glen Ellyn, an exact replica of the first Wright Brothers airplane, has successfully completed an initial test of the lifting ability of the airframe. The trial, held at Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook, Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 12th, proved that the plane's wing will provide the lift needed to launch the machine into the air. The test was conducted with the airframe alone. The plane was not piloted or powered. Wright Redux believes that based on today's positive results a manned, engine-driven flight for the craft is likely in the near future. See photos of press day.

Commenting on today's success, Wright Redux Co-Presidents, Ted Craft and Mark Miller said, "For our organization, this is a thrilling result. Three years of effort has resulted in wings that provide lift," said the two Glen Ellyn residents. "Wright Redux is going to conduct a progressive series of tests to assure that the airframe is ready for our pilots to take the controls, first for unpowered tests and finally for powered test flights. We will then complete our goal of building and flying an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Brothers airplane for the 100th Anniversary of the original flight."

Today's flight test was designed and run jointly by Wright Redux and Packer Engineering of Naperville. "The results today prove conclusively that Wright Redux has solved the puzzle of the wing on 1903 Wright Flyer," said Ken Packer, founder and CEO of Packer Engineering. "This is a huge step. We at Packer Engineering are dedicated to supporting the group in every way possible to get this plane safely and successfully into the air with a pilot and an engine as soon as possible."

The Spirit of Glen Ellyn is being constructed as an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. The plane is sponsored by the Chicago Museum of Science And Industry and the National Geographic Society. Packer Engineering is constructing an exact replica engine that will be used on the plane when it flies next year. The goal of the group is to launch the plane from the lawn of the Museum of Science and Industry on December 17, 2003.

The Wright Redux Association is a not-for-profit volunteer association dedicated to the construction and flying of an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Key contributors to the Spirit of Glen Ellyn include Horn Lumber of Chicago, The Glen Ellyn Jaycees, The Glen Ellyn Wheaton Community Bank, The Glen Ellyn Rotary, and several private citizens who have donated time, materials, money and support for this project.

The Midwest volunteer group fabricating the Spirit of Glen Ellyn 1903 replica engine include: Packer Engineering, Packer Technologies International, Bison Gear, Insight Automated, Inc., Peterson Spring, American Foundry Society, Wheatland Machine, Beery Heating & Cooling, Jerry' Welding, NAPCO Steel, Inc., MTI, Inc., Arnold Engineering Company, Austin Group, Willard Industries, Arrow Gear, Craftsman Tool & Mold, Bison Electric, TRW, Phoenix Electric Manufacturing, Scot Inc., and Auto Machine Inc.

Saturday, 9/14/2002 - Upper & Lower Wings are Joined!
  It was an historical day for Wright Redux, as the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" takes shape. The upper and lower wings are joined and the under carriage is attached. See the photos (20) of this Saturday's progress.

Saturday, 8/25/2002 - Progress on upper wing nears completion.
  The upper wing assembly was stitched by Jean Mumford. Launch rail assembly is in progress. Upper wing ends are under construction. See photos.

Saturday, 8/3/2002 - The Spirit of Glen Ellyn Moves to a New Home
  The Wright Redux replica Wright Flyer has packed up and moved to its new home in Packer Engineering's hangar at a nearby airfield. The 14 photos of this move tell the story.

Sunday, 7/28/2002 - Confusion about the Engine put to Rest
  There seems to be some confusion about the engine Wright Redux plans to use to fly the Spirit of Glen Ellyn. Some people report that we're going to use a modern lawnmower-type engine modified to fit the plane. Some people say we're using strictly replica components built according to the Wright Flyer engine prints. Well, they're both right.

A modern four-stroke engine that we're calling the "placeholder engine" will power the early test flights. There's a couple of reasons for this. Several test flights will be required to fine-tune the aircraft control system. This is also the time to train the pilot to learn all the idiosyncrasies of the Wright Flyer. We want a power plant that we're familiar with, one that's predictable and one that we know how to control for these initial tests. The fewer the unknowns the better.

The placeholder engine will be joined to a transmission designed and fabricated according to Wright specs. When the placeholder is no longer needed it will be removed and the replica will take its place, joining right up to the transmission. At that time the aircraft with the replica engine will undergo further flight-testing. Together they become the complete 1903 Wright Flyer replica to be placed on display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry on December 17, 2003.

Monday, 6/17/2002 - Packer Engineering of Naperville, Illinois to Build the Wright Redux 1903 Wright Brothers Replica Engine

Glen Ellyn, IL., June 17, 2002 - The Wright Redux Association today announced that it has reached agreement with Packer Engineering of Naperville to build the replica engine for the 1903 Wright Brothers airplane that group is constructing. This is the last major component needed by Wright Redux to fly the plane, called the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn," at the Chicago Science and Industry Museum on the Centennial of Flight, December 17, 2003.

"This is a wonderful day for the Wright Redux project," said Tom Norton, President of Wright Redux. "We have traveled all over the Midwest looking for a firm that was willing to build the '03 engine, and we are delighted that our neighbors in Naperville will be our partners in this venture."

"This an important project that honors the spirit of the Wright's remarkable aviation engineering breakthroughs of 100 years ago," said Dr. Kenneth F. Packer, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Packer Engineering. "We are proud to be associated with Wright Redux and look forward to producing the engine that will lift the "Spirit of Glen Ellyn" off the lawn of the Science and Industry Museum in December of 2002."

The Wright Redux plane is scheduled to undergo airworthiness tests this summer using a temporary engine. This motor will be removed next year and replaced by the new Packer Engineering replica engine that will power the plane during the December 17, 2003 flight in Chicago.

Packer Engineering (www.packereng.com) is a vibrant multi-service engineering company. The firm's work applies scientific methodology to the principles of engineering to obtain the correct answer to the problems it is asked to solve. The company's engineers, scientists and technologists have strong academic credentials as well as vital industrial experience. Packer specializes in aviation safety and management, building systems, structures, and construction services, along with a wide array of other engineering services.

Monday, 6/17/2002 - Wright Redux Association today ran successful vibration tests on the Wright 1903 replica flyer.

Glen Ellyn, IL., June 17, 2002 - The Wright Redux Association today ran vibration tests on the Wright 1903 replica flyer. The temporary placeholder engine spun the simulator props successfully on two attempts, much to the joy of the Wright Redux Association President Tom Norton and Vice President Mark Miller. It was another exciting milestone towards the goal of flying the 1903 replica. In attendance was Dr. Kenneth F. Packer, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Packer Engineering of Naperville, Illinois. Dr. Packer and his company agreed to build the replica engine for the 1903 Wright Brothers replica airplane being tested today.

Several members of the media, also in attendance, included Frank Mathie of ABC TV channel 7, Ted Gregory of the Chicago Tribune, an NBC TV channel 5 crew, a CLTV crew, and others.

Also unveiled today was the nearly completed upper wing assembly. The Wrights designed the wings to be disassembled for shipment from Dayton to Kitty Hawk. Per their design, the upper wing is made up of three sections which are bolted together and the fabric stitched closed. The three wing sections Wright Redux has on display are bolted into one complete wing with the fabric ends remaining open to display the wonderfully crafted hardware produced from the Wright's design. From tip to tip the wing is 40 feet 4 inches long. View photos of the day.

Sunday, 5/4/2002 - Canard Sew Job
  See photos of completed canard.

Saturday, 5/4/2002 - Visit to Rose Cushman
  Saturday May 4, 2002 Rose Cushman and her daughter Sandy invite Wright Redux to photograph Thomas Cushman's 1926 pilot's license signed by Orville Wright. See photo's of Rose holding the license as well as close-ups of the license itself. Thank you Rose and Sandy for this exciting opportunity.

Saturday, 4/27/2002 - Mrs. Rose Lee Cushman visits Wright Redux
  Wright Redux was honored to receive a visit from Mrs. Rose Lee Cushman, widow of the late Thomas A. Cushman. Thomas, at the age of 16, was licensed by Orville Wright of the Orville/Wilbur American airplane inventor's team. Orville Wright himself signed the license. Wright Redux plans to photograph the license, currently secured in a safety deposit box, and present it here on the Wright Redux website. During her visit Mrs. Cushman expressed how thrilled she was to view the 1903 Wright Flyer under construction, and to share her husband's connection with the Wright brothers. Please view a photo of Rose along with a news clipping photo of Thomas. Thank you Rose.

Saturday, 3/23/2002 - Aircraft Quality Spruce is In
  We have received the aircraft quality Spruce (the Wright's choice). It's very straight, very tight grain is the choice of aircraft builders. See a sample of the wood here.

Saturday, 2/9/2002 - Team Meeting / Shop Activity

Saturday, 1/25/2002 - Activity - Jan 25, 2002

Thursday, 1/24/2002 - Wright Redux to Participate in National Celebration of the Centennial of Flight

The Wright Redux Association announced today that their activities will be listed as a part of the national Centennial of Flight celebration being coordinated by the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.

"We are pleased to join the Commission in the official observance of the Wright's accomplishments nearly 100 years ago," said Tom Norton, President of the Wright Redux Association. "Among other activities, we will be posting our calendar of activities on the Commission's Web site."

Wednesday, 1/23/2002 - FAA Assigns N-Number
  The N-Number has been assigned to the Spirit of Glen Ellyn Wright Brothers Flyer. It is: N203WF
You can see it for yourself at the FAA site.

Saturday, 1/19/2002 - Activity - Jan 19, 2002
  A few pictures of this day's shop activity.

Monday, 12/17/2001 - Propeller Spin Test
  The Wright Redux Association and the 1903 Wright Flyer airframe reproduction is another step closer to its flight on the lawn of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry in 2003.

This replica flyer is being created and assembled of Sitka spruce and ash, the same woods the Wright brothers used. "The effort to build and fly a replica of the 1903 Wright Flier is a combination of intellectual probing, precise craftsmanship and a lot of painstaking hard work," says Mark Miller. Mark also built the prototype propeller being tested today.

As Tom Norton starts the live "spin test" several members of the community and local media look on in anticipation. This prop test was designed to determine and analyze the thrust that the prop developed. "It's a great moment... and a very important day for us" Norton said as the test went flawlessly.

"This is exceeding what we expected. I was very happy," Miller said. "We got a good hit of thrust and the prop didn't come apart."

The completed aircraft will be 21-feet long, have a 40-foot wingspan and weigh approximately 750 pounds. The pilot of this aircraft will control its lateral movement by warping the wing tips in opposite directions through a series of wires attached to a hip cradle mounted on the lower wing. By shifting his hips from side to side the pilot controls the wings as well as the rudder.

Today was a great success!

(Excerpted from the Glen Ellyn News story by Bill Jablonski.)


Wednesday, 7/11/2001 - Assembly photo.
See the latest assembly photos.

The Wright Redux Association is an IRS 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization
©2001 The Wright Redux Association

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