Abstract Of all the technical triumphs of the 20th Century, the flight of the first airplane by the Wright Brothers is probably the best known and revered by people of all ages. It is strange but true that, prior to this project, very little was known about the flight characteristics of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first successful airplane. Replicas have been built and flights attempted, but no one has been able to repeat or exceed the 59-second flight by Wilbur Wright on Dec 17, 1903. The Los Angeles Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) organized the Wright Flyer Project for the purpose of building and flying a replica of the machine, applying modern methods of test and analysis to yield a quantitative database documenting the flight characteristics of the first aircraft to fly. This effort, which began two decades ago and is now coming to fruition is described in this paper.