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SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007

Wright Brothers in Montgomery
Museum scheduled to open in 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A museum honoring aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright is trying to get off the ground.

The Wright Brothers Maxwell Field Museum is scheduled to open in 2010, a century after the brothers opened the first civilian flying school in the country at what is now Maxwell Air Force Base.

The city council gave the land to the Wright Brothers /Maxwell Field Foundation last summer, said Dr. Grant Hammond, museum board member and director of the Center for Strategy and Technology at Maxwell’s Air War College.

The foundation received nonprofit status in September.

The Wright Brothers’ school in Montgomery is considered both the birthplace of civil aviation and the site of the first night flight, Hammond said.

“This brought aviation to the American public,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Had it not been for the flying school here to train pilots, that couldn’t have happened.”

The project is expected to cost $12 million, said Floyd McGowin, a foundation board member. Donated attractions include a working reproduction of a 1910 Wright Transitional Flyer.

The board hopes to raise $50,000 by midsummer toward initial expenses of $350,000 that include hiring an Illinois consulting firm to come up with a strategic plan for the 60,000-square-foot museum.

“It’s not going to be built overnight,” McGowin said. “We know what we’re doing, it’s just getting everybody to move on it.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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