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A history of wright brothers in the aircraft industry

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Aviation Triad Joining the Aeronautical Community Orville and Wilbur became interested in aviation as flight research boomed in the late 1800s. Many pioneers of the time attempted to experiment with manned flight.

  • Kitty Hawk Test Flights The Wrights began designing their aircraft based on the work of other successful aviation pioneers;
  • Army at Fort Myer, Va;
  • Two boys, Reuchlin 1861—1920 and Lorin 1862—1939 , were born to the couple before Wilbur was born on a farm near Millville.

Some attempted to use models as their primary form of research, but most inventors agreed that full-size man-powered aircraft were the most promising avenue of study.

In Germany, inventor Otto Lilienthal was the first person to make well-documented and successful flights.

Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company/Aviation History Wing/A History of the Airplane

In August of 1896, Lilienthal was killed after one of his gliders plunged to the ground. Instead of scaring off the brothers from the idea of flight, they began to take flight research more seriously. In May of 1899, Wilbur wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institution, requesting all the information they had about aeronautics.

They developed a moveable rudder system after observing that birds angled their wings for balance and control.

Wright Brothers and the History of Aviation

Kitty Hawk Test Flights The Wrights began designing their aircraft based on the work of other successful aviation pioneers. Adopting the biplane glider style, they incorporated changes based off aeronautical data Lilienthal had published before his death.

Stories from the Smithsonian

Wilbur and Orville chose to conduct their tests in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, an area known for its strong winds. Most of the first test flights were unpiloted, using sandbags or other heavy objects as ballast. In 1903 the brothers built the Wright Flyer I, the sum of all their experiments and knowledge up to that point.

This aircraft was powered, designed with both a gasoline-powered aluminum engine and propellers measuring more than eight feet. Their most famous flight took place on December 17, 1903.

Wright brothers

After several attempts earlier in the day Wilbur flew the plane for a total of 59 seconds, covering a distance of 852 feet. Wilbur and Orville eventually found a more engaged audience in France.

  • Orville arrived a year later, followed by Katharine 1874—1929;
  • Going into business In November 1909 the Wright Company was incorporated with Wilbur as president, Orville as one of two vice presidents, and a board of trustees that included some of the leaders of American business;
  • The brothers began by searching for information on aeronautics from their local library;
  • As experienced cyclists, the Wrights preferred to place complete control of their machine in the hands of the operator;
  • Then, no longer able to hide the extent of their success from the press, and concerned that the essential features of their machine would be understood and copied by knowledgeable observers, the Wrights decided to cease flying and remain on the ground until their invention was protected by patents and they had negotiated a contract for its sale;
  • Wilbur made the first attempt at powered flight on December 14, but he stalled the aircraft on take-off and damaged the forward section of the machine.

The Wrights quickly became celebrities and began selling their airplanes across Europe before eventually returning to the States in 1909. Wilbur served as president of the Wright aviation company until he passed away due to typhoid fever in 1912. Learn more about the wide variety of available education and career opportunities today.

  • During the fall and early winter of 1901 the Wrights tested between 100 and 200 wing designs in their wind tunnel, gathering information on the relative efficiencies of various airfoils and determining the effect of different wing shapes, tip designs, and gap sizes between the two wings of a biplane;
  • In 1892 the brothers opened a bicycle sales and repair shop, and they began to build bicycles on a small scale in 1896;
  • Finally in 1894, Sir Hiram Maxim made a successful takeoff but a woefully uncontrolled flight in a biplane "test rig;
  • The brothers began by searching for information on aeronautics from their local library.