Large Wright Flyer statue may have a new home

Workers for Schumacher Crane spent Friday moving the Wright Brothers lll sculpture that has been on Monument Avenue across from Riverscape Metro Park for 19 years. The sculpture will be moved to the west end of the Third Street bridge to allow for redevelopment of the Monument Avenue site. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

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Workers for Schumacher Crane spent Friday moving the Wright Brothers lll sculpture that has been on Monument Avenue across from Riverscape Metro Park for 19 years. The sculpture will be moved to the west end of the Third Street bridge to allow for redevelopment of the Monument Avenue site. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

The Wright Flyer III statue that was on display downtown for about two decades may move to a new home on Dayton’s west side, near the Wright Dunbar business district.

Dayton is considering transferring land at the southwest corner of West Third Street and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to Montgomery County to give it a place to put the Wright Flyer monument.

The full-scale statue was installed more than two decades ago along East Monument Avenue, across from RiverScape MetroPark.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Wright Flyer from 1905 is the model the Wright Brothers truly learned to fly in, and our travel hasn't been the same since. This full-scale sculpture was located on East Monument Avenue for 20 years. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

The Wright Flyer from 1905 is the model the Wright Brothers truly learned to fly in, and our travel hasn't been the same since. This full-scale sculpture was located on East Monument Avenue for 20 years. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
The Wright Flyer from 1905 is the model the Wright Brothers truly learned to fly in, and our travel hasn't been the same since. This full-scale sculpture was located on East Monument Avenue for 20 years. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

But the sculpture was removed and placed into storage in 2020 to make way for a new apartment project called the Monument.

The proposed property transfer will support the display and preservation of Dayton’s aviation history, says a memo from Todd Kinskey, Dayton’s director of planning, neighborhoods and development.

Combined ShapeCaption
Workers for Schumacher Crane moved the Wright Brothers sculpture that has been on Monument Avenue across from Riverscape Metro Park for nearly two decades. The sculpture was moved to allow for redevelopment of the Monument Avenue site. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Workers for Schumacher Crane moved the Wright Brothers sculpture that has been on Monument Avenue across from Riverscape Metro Park for nearly two decades. The sculpture was moved to allow for redevelopment of the Monument Avenue site. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Workers for Schumacher Crane moved the Wright Brothers sculpture that has been on Monument Avenue across from Riverscape Metro Park for nearly two decades. The sculpture was moved to allow for redevelopment of the Monument Avenue site. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

The statue will have a podium and lighting and will be a “first-class gateway” into the Wright Dunbar neighborhood and the Dayton aviation heritage national park sites, the memo states.

The artwork depicts the Wright brothers’ first flight with the 1905 Wright Flyer III.

The 5,000-pound sculpture is a stainless steel and aluminum model, and the display also features bronze statues of Wilbur Wright at the controls and Orville Wright running alongside the plane.

The real, historic Wright Flyer III is on display at Carillon Historical Park.

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