Modern Wright Flyer at Food Lion AutoFair
Designed and constructed at Utah State University, the USU Wright Flyer was built with one question in mind: ¿What would the Wright Brothers have done with today¿s technology?¿
Project managers answered the question by combining antique engineering and space-age materials with a Harley-Davidson twin-cam 88B engine to create a lighter, stronger and faster flying machine that still pays homage to the 1905 Wright Flyer III in appearance. The aircraft honors the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers¿ first flight, which took place at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903, while inspiring today¿s youth to push aerospace development to greater heights.
The project took 4,000 hours to design and 6,000 hours to build. Utah State University students and faculty, working with the Space Dynamics Laboratory, National Composite Center and the U.S. Air Force, designed and built the Flyer using space-age materials, as if Orville and Wilbur Wright were designing their plane today. The USU Wright Flyer has been tested with more than 100 flights.
Dave Widauf, an associate professor at USU¿s College of Engineering, heads the team responsible for the Flyer.
¿We wanted to find a way to promote aerospace programs at USU, honor the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers¿ first flight and inspire youth in aerospace and aviation,¿ said Widauf. ¿We knew we could keep the essence of the airplane but make it lighter and stronger.¿
Widauf and his students used fiberglass and Kevlar-coated foam instead of the wood and cloth used on the original Flyer. They also substituted a Harley-Davidson twin-cam 88B engine for the original which was built by Charles Taylor.
In addition to the USU Wright Flyer, the Food Lion AutoFair will pay tribute to the 100th Anniversary of Harley-Davidson, featuring more than 50 motorcycles from various eras.
Also on display will be the Zippo Lighter Car, the Shamu the Whale Car and the special edition NASCAR ¿Victory Lap¿ No. 3 and No. 24 Chevrolet race cars that will honor Winston¿s 33-year sponsorship of NASCAR¿s top series with a parade lap during the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 11.
As the nation¿s largest automotive extravaganza, the four-day event features various makes and models from 45 car clubs; thousands of parts and memorabilia vendors; and a collector car auction conducted by Tom Mack on Saturday. A car corral, located on the 1.5-mile superspeedway includes hundreds of vehicles of all makes and models available for sale or trade.
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 per day for adults and available at the gates. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Event parking is $5.
Contact the Lowe¿s Motor Speedway Events Department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com for information.