On December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Flyer's four successful trials were the first flights of a heavier-than-air engine-powered machine controlled by a pilot on board. Reluctant to publish their feat to avoid attracting the attention of competitors, the Wright brothers are much concerned about the follow-up of their patent application.
Damaged at the end of the day, Flyer is not reusable. The Wright brothers keep its wreckage in crates until 1916 when the MIT offers to manage an exhibition. The hardware had been damaged in 1913 in a flood. Orville Wright changes the covering of the wings with a similar fabric.
To the great surprise of the heirs, the original Flyer's fabric is found in the estate of Orville Wright. It is then cut into small pieces that are offered for memory to pioneers in aeronautics. A 3.2 x 4.1 cm fragment that had belonged to Edwin E. Aldrin, father of the future astronaut, was sold for $ 32.5K including premium by Heritage on May 11, 2018.
Contrary to the extreme confidentiality practiced by the Wright brothers, the Apollo 11 mission and the Moon landing of its Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969 with Armstrong and Aldrin on board are viewed immediately throughout the world. This unprecedented technological feat is accompanied by many celebrations. As a tribute to the Wright brothers, pieces of Flyer's wing cloth and wooden propeller provided by the Air Force Museum had been carried down to the Moon surface in the LM.
Neil Armstong gets to keep for his personal collection some of these tiny witnesses of the dual achievement of Flyer and Eagle. Six lots are sold from his estate by Heritage in Dallas on November 1 : two propeller fragments 29 x 9 mm and 29 x 8 mm as lots 52284 and 52285 and four muslin cloth fragments as lots 52280 to 52283, the largest being 3.8 x 5 cm overall.
Here is the link to the lots that meet the 'Wright' text search in that sale. Please watch the video shared by Heritage.
RESULTS including premium :
from the propeller (2 lots) : SOLD for $ 275K each
from the wing : top lot SOLD for $ 175K