The Dayton-Wright Airplane Company was an integral part of aviation research and development during the World War I era. The company had three plants around the Dayton area. They performed research at the South Field where they developed advanced aircraft and weapons such as the Kettering Bug; an early cruise missile. Dayton-Wright built the De Havilland DH-4, the Liberty Engine, and the Standard J-1 to support the war effort. At the end of World War I Dayton-Wright continued to develop aircraft for the military. One of the innovative aircraft that came from Dayton-Wright was the RB-1 racer which had one of the first practical and operational retractable landing gear systems. The company was headed by Harold E. Talbott, Charles Kettering, and Orville Wright and had several well know early aviators among the ranks of the engineering division. The photographs in the collection show how the De Havilland DH-4 was built and allow a glimpse at the daily operation of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company.

Landing Gear Department, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 2 July 17, 1918

Landing Gear Department, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 2 July 17, 1918

De Havilland DH-4 wings being packaged for shipment at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

De Havilland DH-4 wings being packaged for shipment at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Side view of a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Side view of a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Cloth Assembly Department of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1

Cloth Assembly Department of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1

Dayton-Wright Airplane Company employees staining wooden parts

Dayton-Wright Airplane Company employees staining wooden parts

Wide angle view of the Fuselage Department of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company August 21, 1918

Wide angle view of the Fuselage Department of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company August 21, 1918

Employees of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company building the fuselage of the Kettering Bug

Employees of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company building the fuselage of the Kettering Bug

Fuselages of the Standard J-1 training aircraft at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1 February 23, 1918

Fuselages of the Standard J-1 training aircraft at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1 February 23, 1918

De Havilland DH-4 being dismantled, packaged, and prepared for shipment from the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

De Havilland DH-4 being dismantled, packaged, and prepared for shipment from the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Female employees of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company attach fabric to the skeleton of an aircraft wing

Female employees of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company attach fabric to the skeleton of an aircraft wing

Skeleton of the elevator for a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Skeleton of the elevator for a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Test of a Liberty Engine made by Ford Motor Company in a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1 July 3, 1918

Test of a Liberty Engine made by Ford Motor Company in a De Havilland DH-4 at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Plant 1 July 3, 1918

Fuselage Score Board, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company November 4, 1918

Fuselage Score Board, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company November 4, 1918

Bernard Whelan standing beside the Dayton-Wright O.W.I. at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Bernard Whelan standing beside the Dayton-Wright O.W.I. at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Dayton-Wright KT Cabin Cruiser at the South Field of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company

Dayton-Wright KT Cabin Cruiser at the South Field of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company