Here’s a cool poster from 1909, in the area of Templehof in Berlin, Germany, advertising an air show with a special appearance from the Wright Brothers and their airplane.
When was the show? Sometime in September of 1909… not that it’s actually listed on the promotional poster.
Here’s the translation – I first asked Mister Manfred Mann – a friend of mine who creates the adult How To Survive Women blog… it was then that I discovered that he’s not really German, and so used Google Translate:
I’m going to guess that at that time in 1909, Templehof was just a small village with a lot of fields… but nowadays, it is better known for the Berlin-Templehof Airport (Flughafen Berline-Templehof).
As for the German word venarnftaltet… I suppose it could be a form of veranstaltet, which translates to ‘organized by’.
The aeroplane demonstrated at the air show was a Wright Model A bi-plane, first built in 1906, and was a further development of their Flyer III airplane of 1905.
Built between 1906-1907, a total of seven Model A‘s were hand-crafted by the Wright Brothers—a time in which they did no flying of their own.
Almost identical to the Flyer III, the Model A had a 35-horsepower engine, seating for two, and had a new control arrangement.
Model A stats:
Length: 30 ft 8 in (9.32 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 5 in (11.09 m)
Height: 8 feet (2.43 m)
Empty weight: 740 lb (336 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,263 lb (573 kg)
Powerplant: two pusher propellers using a single 35-horsepower Wright Model 4 engine.
Maximum speed: 42 mph (67.6 kph)
What is interesting about this particular model aircraft—Model A, is that it was the very first plane the Wright Brothers actually offered up for sale to the general public, and was the very first aircraft deign to enter serial production in the world.
Along with these seven machines, the Wright Brothers sold licenses for production of the Model A‘s in Europe.
Would it surprise you to learn that the Germany-based company Flugmaschine Wright Gmbh (Wright Flying Machine Ltd.) actually built about 60 Model A aeroplanes?
Now… remember that I said this was the first ‘mass-produced’ aircraft? All seven of them?
Well… when it came to the flight controls, you would expect them to all be exactly the same, right?
Orville and Wilbur Wright were two stubborn buggers. Each had their own version of installing and designing the flight controls which they preferred on their Model A‘s and with which they flew in their 1908 and 1909 demonstrations.
For example, The Wilbur Method had the roll and yaw controls on the same lever at the pilot’s right hand. Moving the lever forwards and backwards controlled the rudder, while a left-right sideways motion controlled the wing-warping (pre-aileron days).
The Orville Method meant simply using the right hand to move the stick controlled the wing-warping, while a knob placed onto of the stick controlled the rudder.
In both versions, however, the left hand operated a lever to manipulate the forward elevator to control the pitch.
Wilbur trained the French and Italians with this method, while Orville trained the Germans in 1909 Germany for the Wright GmbH, as well as for the Wright Flight School in the US.
Of the seven Model A aircraft built by the Wright Brothers, only one (I’m not including the one-off built Wright Military Model A) of the seven still survives today… it’s the one that Orville Wright flew at Templehof Field in Germany in 1909. It is in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.
Which brings us back full-circle.