That same day, the enterprising brothers gained another distinction, becoming the first pilots to fail to properly tie down their airplane. A gust of wind flipped the 40-ft Wright Flyer, smashing the plane and propellers. The national treasure would never fly again.
Fast forward 100 years. A group of aeronautical enthusiasts set out to recreate the original '03 Flyer. They wanted to make replicas of the original 8.5-ft propellers. But all that remained was a little more than half of a propeller stored at the National Archives. New props were reverse engineered from the original fragment. Technicians captured the shape of the fragment with a FaroArm (contact digitizer), then recreated the missing section in software. From the new CAD file, a machining program cut duplicate propellers from a blank of laminated wood.