Wright Model E
Wright Model E, quarter view inflight, Simms Station near Dayton, Ohio, 1913. (10479 A.S.).jpg
Wright Model E, over Simms Station near Dayton, Ohio, 1913
Role Biplane
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Wright Company
Designer Wright brothers
First flight 1913
Number built 1

The Wright Model E was the first in the series of Wright Flyers that used a single propeller[1] The aircraft was also the test demonstrator for the first automatic pilot control.


The Model E featured 24 inch tires. It was flown with four and six cylinder Wright engines.

The model E was fitted with a prototype autopilot that used a wind driven generator and pendulums to drive the wing warping controls. The design was quickly eclipsed by a gyroscopic autopilot developed by Lawrence Sperry for the competing Curtiss Aeroplane Company.[2]

Operational history

On 31 December 1913, Orville Wright demonstrated a Model E with an "automatic stabilizer" flying seven circuits around Huffman Prairie field with his hands above his head.[3] The Model E demonstrations earned the Wright Brothers the 1913 Collier Trophy from Aero Club of America.

Albert Elton (1881–1975) purchased the sole Wright Model E for exhibition flights.[4]

Specifications (Wright Model E)

General characteristics


  1. ^ "1913 Wright Model E". Retrieved 3 Feb 2011.
  2. ^ Tom D. Crouch. The Bishop's boys: a life of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
  3. ^ "Wright Automatic Stabilizer". New York Times. 6 January 1914.
  4. ^ American Aviation Historical Society. American Aviation Historical Society Journal. 9–11. ((cite journal)): Missing or empty |title= (help)