Skip to main content

Wright EX "Vin Fiz"

Galleries & Exhibits Home > Wright EX "Vin Fiz"

Wright EX "Vin Fiz" (replica), Dayton, Ohio, 1911

On September 17, 1911, Calbraith Rogers departed Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in an attempt to win a prize for the first transcontinental flight made in 30 days or less. Sponsored by a company promoting a new grape soda named "Vin Fiz", Rogers flew a Wright brothers Model B. Throughout his flight a train followed him carrying spare parts and mechanics. His flight required 70 landings for service stops and was interrupted by 15 crashes. He tried to navigate by following train tracks where possible. The difficulties of the flight were staggering, there were no airfields, no supplies, no instruments and no weather reports. In November, after 49 days and 82 flying hours, Rogers reached Pasadena, California. Though he failed to win the prize, Rogers determination won him the admiration of the American public and hinted at the future potential of the airplane.

Promotional poster depicting Cal Rodgers coast-to-coast flight in the ' Vin Fiz' across the USA, 1911. This image can be found in our digital archives.

Two men standing in front of Wright EX 'Vin Fiz', Sheepshead Bay Racetrack, circa 1911. This image can be found in our digital archives.

Cal Rogers & the Wright EX 'Vin Fiz' wreck in Huntington, Indiana. This image can be found in our online digital archives

Cal Rodgers in Wright EX 'Vin Fiz' takes off from Sheepshead Bay Racetrack, September 17, 1911, at the start of the first transcontinental flight. Find this image in our online digital archives.

Rodgers at the controls of the Wright Model EX Pusher 'Vin Fiz' - find this image and others, online in our digital archive.