Wright Company
FoundedNovember 22, 1909 (1909-11-22)
Defunct1916 (1916)
FateMerged with Glenn L. Martin Company in 1916
United States

The Wright Company was the commercial aviation business venture of the Wright Brothers, established by them on November 22, 1909, in conjunction with several prominent industrialists from New York and Detroit with the intention of capitalizing on their invention of the practical airplane.[1][2] The company maintained its headquarters office in New York City and built its factory in Dayton, Ohio.


The two buildings designed by Dayton architect William Earl Russ and built by Rouzer Construction for the Wright Company in Dayton in 1910 and 1911 were the first in the United States constructed specifically for an airplane factory and were included within the boundary of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in 2009.[3]

The Wright Company concentrated its efforts on protecting the company's patent rights rather than on developing new aircraft or aircraft components, believing that innovations would hurt the company's efforts to obtain royalties from competing manufacturers or patent infringers. Wilbur Wright died in 1912, and on October 15, 1915, Orville Wright sold the company, which in 1916 merged with the Glenn L. Martin Company to form the Wright-Martin Company.[4] Orville Wright, who had purchased 97% of the outstanding company stock in 1914 as he prepared to leave the business world, estimated that the Wright Company built approximately 120 airplanes across all of its different models between 1910 and 1915.[5]

Many of the papers of the Wright Company are now in the collection of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, while others are held by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.[6][failed verification] The Library of Congress also holds the papers of Grover Loening, the second Wright Company factory manager, while the papers of Frank Henry Russell, the first plant manager, are at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center.[7][8]



Wright Model B
Wright Model H
Model name First flight Number built Type
Wright Model B Around 100 Single engine biplane sport airplane
Wright Model Ex 1911 1 Single engine biplane sport airplane
Wright Model R 1910 1 or 2 Single engine biplane racer
1911 Wright Glider 1911 1 Glider
Wright Model C 1912 7 Single engine biplane scout
Wright Model D 2 Single engine biplane observation airplane
Wright Model CH 3 Single engine biplane floatplane scout
Wright Model G Aeroboat 1+ Single engine biplane floatplane sport airplane[9]
Wright Model E 1913 1 Single engine biplane experimental airplane
Wright Model F Single engine biplane sport airplane
Wright Model H Single engine biplane experimental airplane
Wright Model HS Single engine biplane experimental airplane
Wright Model K 1 Single engine biplane floatplane experimental airplane[10]
Wright Model L Single engine biplane trainer[11][10]




  1. ^ "Big Men of Finance Back the Wrights". The New York Times. 23 November 1909.
  2. ^ Tom D. Crouch. "Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation's Capital, 1909-1914": 44. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Entries for 27 August 1910 and 5 April 1911, Box 3, Frank Henry Russell Papers, Collection 11624, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming; Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, P.L. 111-11, 30 March 2009.
  4. ^ Roach, Edward (2014). The Wright Company: From Invention to Industry. Athens: Ohio University Press. ISBN 9780821420515.
  5. ^ Sales number in Orville Wright to Pliny W. Williamson, telegram, 21 June 1915, General Correspondence: Williamson, Pliny W., 1915, Box 66, Wright Brothers Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ O’Neill, Craig (26 February 2002). "Museum of Flight Acquires "Lost" Wright Archives". Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority. Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Inventory of the Frank Henry Russell papers, 1901-1947". Rocky Mountain Online Archive. 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Grover Cleveland Loening papers". Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  9. ^ Thede, Kyle (22 June 2017). "Flying Boats, Part II: "The Wright Brothers"". Wright State University. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  10. ^ a b Eckland, K. O. (7 October 2008). "Wright, Wright-Bellanca, Wright-Martin". Aerofiles. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  11. ^ "1916 Wright Model L". Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company. Retrieved 25 July 2021.

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