Flight of the Century
On December 17th, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright made history as the first men to build, fly and successfully land a powered airplane capable of carrying a hunam passenger. To commemorate the centennial of the first ever flight, Junkyard Wars has brought teams from all over the world to do their own "first flight." American, British and French men, and one woman, will be building airplanes that flew during the 1900s. There are no "experts" as each team of four is made up of flying enthusiasts. The team that flys the longest over a 1/2 mile of a dry lake bed in the Mojave desert or the team that lands their plane closest to the finish line will have the honors of winning.

They are only allowed to build their planes using materials and tools that existed during the 1900s. Aluminum tubing is out but steel tubing did exist in the 1900s. Also disallowed are any form of modern power tools...including the quadbikes. Welding is allowed but not with an electric welder...they will have to use a regular gas flame that is hot enough to get the job done. Also, the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) has very strict rules about powered aircraft so each team is given an identical, brand-new engine and the planes will have to pass strict inspections by an FAA official as well as perform some test flights before the actual race. They will also have 2 days (20 hours) to complete their task.

The Teams & Their Designs
The British Buzzards
clockwise from top left:
Bill, Darren, Wendy, Iain
Their design has the wings from the Wright Bros, the tail from a 1909 french Antionette and a custom frame
The French Falcons
clockwise from top left:
Geraud, Eric, Gerald, Dimitri
Their design is based on the
1909 Blériot Type XI
The American Eagles
clockwise from top left:
Ken, Andrew, Norman, Paul
This design is based on
the 1909 Walden IX


Wood is the order of the day for
the teams, aside from the US team

The French are looking for bicycles
tires for their landing gear

Since lives depend on it, the wood
is thoroughly inspected

No power tools means hammering...


...a big, motorized drill...

...and welding with a gas flame,
not electricity

Uhh...I don't think this map is going
to do anyone any good

The French have finished one panel
of their fuselage

An old motorized saw tries cutting
through some angle iron

It French and British engage in
a prop swap

Our "Olde Tyme"y judge is
Chuck Slusarczyk

The Brits carefully shape one of
many ribs to support their wings

Each teams gets an identical,
brand new engine

The Americans have their rudder
assembly finished

A bit of bad measuring means
some adjustments need to be made

The ghosts of Orville and Wilbur
pay a visit

The British work on their
simplified fuselage

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