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October 10, 2003

Alcoa To Sponsor The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age Exhibition At the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Opening October 11th

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 10, 2003--Alcoa announced today its sponsorship of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's centennial of flight exhibition, "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age." The exhibition debuts in Washington D.C. on October 11, 2003 and runs through 2004.

The Pittsburgh Reduction Company, now Alcoa, supplied aluminum for the Wright brothers' famous 1903 plane, the Wright Flyer. Today, Alcoa celebrates the centennial of the Wrights' revolutionary achievement along with its first collaboration with the aerospace industry by sponsoring the exhibition.

"We are thrilled to support the National Air and Space Museum in its effort to commemorate the history, science and technology behind the birth of the modern airplane," says Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda. "Alcoa's role in aerospace has grown continually from the Wright Flyer, to the space shuttle and beyond. We hope this exhibit will serve as a reminder of the great achievements in aerospace's past, and as a challenge to Alcoa and its partners in the aerospace industry to develop equally beneficial innovations this century."

The Wright brothers' passion is seen in the new exhibition through details showing the ingenuity and creativity that led to their historic flight. "This exhibition not only celebrates the Wrights' remarkable technical triumph, but also the spirit of unyielding curiosity that made it possible," says National Air and Space Museum Director Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey.

The original Wright Flyer has always hung above the crowds at the Smithsonian. In this exhibition, for the first time, the revolutionary machine will sit at eye level, permitting museum visitors to closely examine its details. The exhibition also features important artifacts and rare photographs documenting the Wrights' struggle for flight.

As part of its sponsorship Alcoa will support and encourage a number of community, educational and web-based initiatives to mark the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' flight. These initiatives will help inspire future generations through the exploration of the history of powered flight.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry.