Life-Size Steel Replica Of The First Airplane
Daytona Beach, Florida
We'd read in a 1991 tourism brochure that the propellers on this Wright Brothers replica plane turned -- by electric power. If they ever did, however, they aren't doing so now. Built in 1990 out of supposedly stainless steel, the 40-ft. wingspan plane appears to be rusting in spots. It's actually more than a replica; it's a life-size diorama that recreates the instant the first airplane became airborne at Ktty Hawk, NC in 1903. Orville Wright is at the controls, Wilbur watches.
The scene was a tribute suggested by the students of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), the flying school on whose grounds it stands. The school gets into the act with a display of giant letters spelling out "E-R-A-U" hulking nearby, reminding us of the kind of runway hazard that could get a flying machine straight onto the Folly of Flight blooper reel.
The sculpture is by artist Larry Godwin, who also captured the first attempted flight of the car bumper rooster.