Flyer and Scipio: The Wright Brothers' Dogs

Orville and Wilbur Wright, the famous American aviation pioneers who made the world's first powered flight in 1903, loved dogs.


The Wright brothers' lives were so busy, neither had time to date or marry but they did find time to include a dog in their lives.

In 1908, the Wright brothers were ready to show the world their flying machine. They built two planes. Orville would take one to show the US Army and Wilbur would take the other to France to show the public. Wilbur's plane was damaged when it got to France so he had to spend days in a shed rebuilding it. While there, a stray dog approached Wilbur and the two became friends. Wilbur adopted the dog and named him Flyer. Orville later met up with Wilbur, and for the next year the brothers and Flyer would travel Europe showing off their plane. When they headed back to the US, Wilbur felt it was best to leave Flyer with their European business agent Hart O. Berg and his wife Edith. Wilbur died a few years later in 1912 at the age of 45.

Scipio and Orville

Later in life, Orville bought a St. Bernard puppy for $75. His sister named the dog Scipio after the Roman general who is best known for defeating Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. Apparently, Orville was very fond of his dog because when he died in 1948 (15 years after Scipio died), there were still pictures of his St. Bernard in his wallet.

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