Wright “B” Flyer Inc., the organization that flies the well-known Wright “B” Flyer lookalike and operates a free aviation museum, is the recipient of two prestigious community awards this year.
The Engineers Club of Dayton has selected Wright “B” Flyer to receive its Wilson A. Charbonneaux award this month. In August, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) presented its PROPS (Partner Recognition of Outstanding Support) award to Wright “B” Flyer at NAHA’s annual meeting.
The awards have special meeting to Wright “B” Flyer because it is an all-volunteer organization, officials said. Its famous Wright “B” Flyer lookalike, a modern airplane made to resemble a 1911 Wright Model “B” airplane, was designed and built by volunteers, and all of the organization’s operations, from maintaining and flying the airplane to operating a free museum and sweeping out the hangar, are carried out by volunteers.
“To receive two big awards in the same year points to the great accomplishments of our volunteers,” Wright “B” Flyer President Phil Beaudoin said.
Named in memory of an Engineers Club member, the Charbonneaux Award is given annually to individuals or organizations in the greater Dayton area that have made a significant contribution to the public’s understanding of science and technology and its impact on society.
“Additionally, the Wright ‘B’ Flyer organization is recognized for its innovative approach, the quality of its outreach and demonstrated commitment to increasing public understanding,” according to an announcement of the award.
The Engineers Club will present the award in an awards ceremony Tuesday. Sept. 10.
NAHA gave the 2013 PROPS award to Wright “B” Flyer, a NAHA partner, for supporting other NAHA partners and for exhibiting a full-size replica of a Wright “B” Flyer at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September 2012. The exhibition promoted the entire National Aviation Heritage Area, one of 49 U.S. National Heritage Areas and the only one dedicated to aviation heritage, according to NAHA officials.
“They were one of the most popular exhibits at the largest manufacturing technology show in North America,” Tony Perfilio, chair of NAHA’s board of trustees, said at the awards ceremony.
Wright “B” Flyer is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation based on Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport south of Dayton. Its hangar-museum is open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays and other times by appointment. It is a partner of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance. Visit www.wright-b-flyer.org for more information.