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Wilbur and Orville Wright. How They Invented the Airplane By Michael Aiken May, 2005. Wilbur and Orville Wright. -Wilbur Wright (shown on the left) was born on April 16, 1867 in Millville, Indiana -Orville Wright (shown on the right) was born on April 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio. .

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wilbur and orville wright

Wilbur and Orville Wright

How They Invented the Airplane

By Michael Aiken

May, 2005

wilbur and orville wright1

Wilbur and Orville Wright

-Wilbur Wright (shown on the left) was born on April 16, 1867 in Millville, Indiana

-Orville Wright (shown on the right) was born on April 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio.

slide3

Wright Cycle Co.

The brothers built bicycles and plane parts here. Another thing they constructed was a wind tunnel.

They also built many test wings out of wax, iron, and steel at different angles and sizes for test purpose.

achieving flight

Achieving Flight

“We knew that men had by common consent adopted human flight as the standard of impossibility. When a man said,’It can’t be done, a man might as well learn to fly,’ as he was understood as expressing the final limit of impossibility.”

Wilbur Wright

1 wings that provide lift 2 a power plant to propel it 3 means of control

A machine that flies must have...

1. Wings that provide lift

2. A power plant to propel it

3. Means of control

kitty hawk north carolina

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

They needed a testing ground for their planes. The U.S. Weather Bureau recommended Kitty Hawk, North Carolina: A windy site with stretches of sandy beaches.

1900 wright glider

1900 Wright Glider

The 1900 Wright glider had a17 ft. wingspan and a light wooden frame covered with sateen. The brothers would fly the gliders like kites. Since there is much wind, the lift causes the plane to rise above the ground.

1901 1902

1901-1902

The 1901 glider crashed when it spun out of control. In 1902, the brothers used a wind tunnel for testing wing and propeller design by running air over each.

angle of attack

Angle of Attack

As the leading edge of the wing tilts up, air moves faster over the top of the wing, increasing lift, making wind rise.

propellers

Propellers

The brothers knew that they had to have a curved wing since the wing would slice through the air. They also knew that the propellers would have to have the right diameter, pitch, and area.

the wright s propellers

The Wright’s Propellers

There were two propellers on all the Wright Fliers and they turned in opposite directions to keep the plane stabilized. The propellers were connected to the motor through a sprocket-and-chain transmission, like the kind used to pull a bicycle.

now they need an engine

Now, they need an engine...

The Wrights needed an engine that produced at least 8 horsepower and weighed under 200 pounds. Luckily, they found an amazing engine that exceeded both qualities.

the wright brother s engine

The Wright Brother’s Engine

Their engine was state-of-the-art. It was made by Charlie Taylor. This engine produced 12 horsepower and only weighed 179 pounds. It was considered remarkable and helped the Wright Brothers achieve success.

1903 wright flier

1903 Wright Flier

The 1903 Wright Flier was a product of the tests that the brothers did in 1902. On their third try, Wilbur flew for 12 seconds. It was the first time anyone had been in flight.

wing warping

Wing-Warping

Wing-warping: to adjust the position of the wings to balance the plane after turning

ailerons

Ailerons

The 1903 Flier had ailerons. They were devices that helped control the plane. Ailerons looked like flaps at the ends of the wings that could control dives and climbs.

1905 wright flier

1905 Wright Flier

The 1905 Wright Flier was tested in Huffman Prairie, Ohio. It’s longest flight was 39 minutes. It weighed over 700 pounds and was thought of as the “First Practical Airplane.

biplane blunders

Biplane Blunders

The brothers biplanes tended to spin out of control. They fixed this problem by adding ailerons. The Wright brothers also made the plane turn by installing a spiral twist running down the wings.

work does pay off

Work Does Pay Off...

After all the inventing, the Wrights took a tour in Europe in 1906-1908, demonstrating their invention. In 1909, they returned to America.

the beginning of a legacy

The Beginning of a Legacy

Wilbur died on May 30, 1912 from typhoid fever at the age of 45. Orville died on January 27, 1948. All of their planes that survived their purposes are currently inside the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum.

the wright brothers memorial

The Wright Brothers Memorial

The Wright Brothers Memorial was constructed after the Wright Brothers had died. The Memorial is meant to honor the Wrights for their remarkable achievements in flight.

bibliography
Bibliography
  • Freedman, Russell. The Wright Brothers: How they invented the Airplane. New York; Holiday House, 1991.
bibliography1
Bibliography
  • “Wilbur and Orville Wright.” People and Discoveries. 5/1/05<http://pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/btwrig.html>
bibliography2
Bibliography
  • Smithsonian Institution. “The Wright Brothers.” National Air and Space Museum. 5/1/05<http://www.nasm.si.edu/wright brothers/fly>
about the author

About The Author

Hi. I’m Michael Aiken, the author of this project. The things that I enjoy most are soccer and backpacking. My favorite foods are pizza, chicken, and cheeseburgers. Most people know me for my humorous jokes and my inability to take anything seriously.

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