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  • The Wright brothers; the first successful airplane; 1903.

  • Wilbur Wright was born on April 16th, 1867, in Millville, Indiana, and Orville Wright was born on August 19th, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio.

  • Both brothers were pioneers credited with inventing the first airplane.

  • In late 1901, the Wright brothers had gathered the aerodynamic data they needed to build a successful flying machine.

  • And in 1902, the Wright brothers had built their latest glider based on this data.

  • They had identified a wing shape that was efficient, producing the expected lift and engineered controls that were responsive.

  • The glider would also use a trailing rudder for yaw, therefore enabling the Wright brothers to navigate in the air in all three dimensions.

  • Following this success, the next stage for the brothers was powered flight.

  • No manufacturers could provide an engine light enough and powerful enough for their needs, so the brothers had to design and build their own.

  • The flyer was designed in a biplane configuration, with a wooden airframe and a wingspan of 12.3 meters or 40 feet 4 inches.

  • The pilot flew on his stomach on the lower wing, steering by moving a cradle attached to his hips.

  • This cradle pulled wires which warped the wings and turned the rudder.

  • The Wright Flyer 1, based on the previous glider, was set up near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the United States of America on December 17th, 1903, where there was a hill and a good breeze.

  • The first flight lasted 12 seconds, traveling 36 meters, or 120 feet, with Orville piloting.

  • Three more flights were made on that day, with Wilbur achieving the best flight, covering 255.6 meters, or 852 feet, in 59 seconds.

  • The Wright brothers had made history with the first successful flight of a controllable, self-propelled, heavier-than-air machine.

  • Over the next few years, the Wright brothers developed new flyers while remaining secretive in an attempt to secure patents and contracts.

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The Wright brothers; the first successful airplane; 1903.

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