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Orville and Wilbur Wright

Orville and Wilbur Wright
Click on the Wright Flyer for its sound.


Specifications

        Primary Function:
        Crew:
        Engine:
        Power:
        Weight Empty:
        Max. Weight:
        Length:
        Wingspan:
        Max. Speed:
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        First Flight:
airplane prototype
one
4 cylinder
12 h.p.
605 lbs.
745 lbs.
21 ft. 1 in.
40 ft. 4 in.
30 mph
n/a
n/a
24 miles
12/17/1903






The powered aircraft invented by Orville and Wilbur Wright, named the "Wright Flyer", was the world's first powered airplane to fly under the complete control of its pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright built their aircraft from wood. Its motor was specifically made as light as possible. The two pusher propellers were turned through a chain mechanism connecting both props to the motor. It was banked through wing warping and turning was coordinated with its rudders.

The Wright Brothers chose Kitty Hawk, North Carolina as the place to develop and test their aircraft. The steady winds blowing in from the ocean and the soft sands to set down on made the site ideal.

After their initial successful flights, the brothers established a facility outside of Dayton, Ohio. It was there that they continued the refinement of the aircraft and its various components.

The brothers initially found buyers for their Wright Flyer in the United States and in France. Two additional demonstration aircraft were built for the buyers, each able to carry a pilot and passenger.

The brothers split up in order to simultaneously demonstrate their aircraft in each country.

Although the Wright Flyer was an instant success in France, the U.S. aircraft crashed on its initial flight. However a replacement eventually did fly successfully before an estimated crowd of a million people in New York.

With the success of the Flyer, the brothers received many additional aircraft requests. As their aircraft were sold, many unauthorized copies were made. The Wright brothers ended up defending the patent in numerous cases. Fortunately for them, the verdicts were in their favor.

Wilbur Wright became ill and only lived until 1912. Orville continued the business for an additional four years before selling it. He lived until 1948.

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