The Wright Flyer. By: Joshua Valentine N.H.D. Junior Division
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright

The Wright Brothers' Airplane


This website shows how many changes the Wright Flyer went through and how much the final glider cost back then! This site shows who inspired the Wright brothers and who failed, making them more determined to make one that worked.

One of the people who failed trying to fly was Otto Lilienthal. He was only one of the many who have tried and failed to fly.  His failure made the Wright Brothers want to improve the safety of the glider.  They began trying to make bigger wings to improve the lift of the machine.   They didn’t know that a bigger model would need more power. 

Orville and Wilbur had a lot of experience in building and improving machines.  They were self taught mechanical engineers.  They started a printing shop and built their own printing press.  Later they started their own bicycle shop and built bicycles.  They eventually used their knowledge of building bicycles as a tool for building their flyer.  While they were building one glider they built a bicycle with a third wheel to test airfoil and aerodynamics. 

The brothers had made many attempts at different glider shapes and sizes before they finally were successful at flying.  Their first manned flight attempt had some major problems.  It had a tendency to either nose dive or to climb sharply, stall, and fall over backwards.  Wilbur had to shift his weight and pull on the controls to get himself to the ground.  One glider, the 1902 glider was the first glider to make a controlled right turn.  Another glider, the 1903 glider, was considered unsuccessful because it bounced and then fell over.  The third glider, The Wright Flyer, was a success!   Finally after several attempts and changes to their original idea, the brothers were able to “go where no man has gone before”, they were able to fly!  They were able to patent their flying machine and had changed history because now man could fly swiftly from place to place instead of going slowly by horse or carriage on the ground. 

On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk North Carolina, the Wright brothers made the first powered airplane that flew with achieved with air control and sustained air control with a pilot on board the plane. In the 1800’s, technically trained people had evolved in aeronautics had found a massive body of information about aeronautics that represented the first real step towards human flight.