Have you visited America’s first airplane factory? If not, here’s your chance to walk where the Wright brothers launched America’s aviation industry: the next monthly tour of the Wright brothers factory is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15.
The Wright brothers formed the Wright Company in 1909 and built America’s first airplane factory in Dayton, Ohio in 1910. They added a second building in 1911. The buildings later became part of the Delphi Home Avenue auto parts manufacturing plant. The plant closed in 2008 and is now owned by a redevelopment company.
With the cooperation of the property owner, Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) is opening the site on the third Thursday of each month for a free public tour to raise awareness of the factory and build community support for its restoration.
In 2009, Congress authorized the National Park Service to restore the factory as a unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park but has not provided funding to acquire or restore it. NAHA’s vision is for the Wright factory to be restored as a national park unit and for other parts of the site to be redeveloped as an aerospace education, research and manufacturing hub.
Because the buildings are unrestored, visitors must sign a hold-harmless agreement before entering them. Closed-toed shoes are required, and no restroom facilities are available. The buildings are unheated, so please dress for the weather.
The factory entrance is off West Third Street just east of Abbey Avenue. The gate has no specific address, but GPS users can find it by navigating to 2880 W. Third St.
Factory tours are also scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m.
2880 W. Third St., Dayton, OH,