Wright Brothers

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries have brought about many innovations that have changed the course of history. Upgrades in transportation have always been very important to the way societies function. Wilbur and Orville Wright were two of the many great inventors of the past two centuries. The Wright brothers left their mark on the world with when they completed the first successful flight with their airplane.

Wilbur and Orville Wright were the sons of Milton and Susan Wright. They had two older brothers by the names of Reuchlin and Lorin, and a younger sister named Katharine. Their father was a minister with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and their mother was a homemaker. The Wright family moved from Ohio to Iowa in 1878 when their father became a bishop for the church. (“The Wright Brothers” 1)

Wilbur and Orville’s family moved back to Dayton Ohio in 1885. They became interested in flying when they received a toy from their father which worked in the same manner as a helicopter. Wilbur did very well in school but dropped out when his family moved during his senior year. Orville performed on an average level in school and frequently got into trouble for his behavior. Like his older brother, Orville dropped out of school during his senior year. (“The Wright Brothers” 1)

At the ages of 22 and 18, Wilbur and Orville began a printing business. They started printing their own newspaper and often printed up things for people throughout their town. The printing press they used was one they made with an old tombstone and old buggy parts. Soon after the brothers purchased their own bicycles, they started repairing bicycles for their friends. In 1893, it wasn’t too long before the brothers opened a shop where they sold and repaired bicycles. (“The Wright Brothers” 2)

In 1896 Orville became ill with typhoid fever. While caring for his brother, Wilbur again became interested in flying and began researching aeronautical information. Wilbur tested the idea of “wing warping,” which was where a wing was moved to correspond to the direction of the wing. This created a way for a pilot to control an aircraft. They built their first glider in 1900, and a second in 1901. Both of the gliders were shipped to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina because of the windy nature of the area. In 1902 the Wright brothers built another glider which was successful, unlike their first two, flying a distance of 620 feet. (“The Wright Brothers” 2). For their third glider, they tested over 200 wing shapes. (“Wilbur and Orville Wright” 1) Soon after this achievement, the brothers returned to Ohio to begin building a propeller and an engine so that they could build a moterized aircraft. (“The Wright Brothers” 2)

In 1903 the Wright brothers built their first airplane. It was shipped in sections to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and assembled there. After the plane was put together, the brothers prepared to test their invention. To decide who would fly first, the brothers held a coin toss. Wilbur won the coin toss and made the first attempt to fly the plane on December 14, 1903. As he was taking off, the plane stalled and it was damaged. After days of reparation, the plane was once more ready for testing. On December 17, 1903, Orville made the second attempt at flying the airplane. This effort proved to be successful when he flew for twelve seconds. This was the first exultant flight of an airplane ever made by a man in a moterized aeronautical machine. (“The Wright Brothers” 2).